These last few days I have been having the pleasure of reading Stanley Meisler’s When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and its First Fifty Years. (The book will be published in February but you can go on-line now to Amazon.com and order your copy.)
There are a lot of gems in Stan’s narrative, background stories on questions you might have had on ‘why in the hell is the Peace Corps doing this?,’ etc. that Meisler, a former foreign and diplomatic correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, now answers for you.
What I liked especially is the way Stan summed up the story on the agency in a short and telling, and I believe, very true statement, writing in his Introduction:
“The Peace Corps has one great inner resource. The strength of the Peace Corps has always depended on the energy and commitment of the Volunteers. No matter how asinine the director in Washington, no matter how much the U.S. president despises the agency, no matter how faulty and lackluster the program in their countries, most volunteers have persevered, determined to do the best they can. That quality has persuaded many countries to ask for more Volunteers, year after year.”
Thanks, Stan, for telling it like it is.