Everyone has heard of the Peace Corps, and that's no accident. When the agency was started in the early days of the Kennedy Administration, one of the top priorities was making it known virtually overnight, and some of the most talented advertising professionals in America donated their expertise to publicizing it. With John F. Kennedy's brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, as director, the Peace Corps represented the high ideals of a crucial decade in American history. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, a professor of American foreign relations at San Diego State University, details the first decade of the Peace Corps, focusing on the struggles to create the agency, the political skill that made it flourish, and the influence of the Vietnam War, which Hoffman refers to as the Peace Corps's "evil twin."
From Library Journal
By 1996, almost 150,000 Americans had served in the Peace Corps, the Kennedy administration's bow to the idealism of the 1960s. Hoffman (history, Univ. of San Diego) ably describes the genesis of the corps in the search for meaning that characterized that decade, the concern about the American image as portrayed in the 1958 novel The Ugly American, and the desire to ameliorate America's heritage of racism. She goes on to recount the corps' struggles in the 1970s and 1980s and its rejuvenation in the 1990s with the end of the Soviet empire and renewed interest in offering assistance to former Soviet bloc countries. Treating both policy matters and the experience of the volunteers, Hoffman places the Peace Corps in the context of other international volunteer efforts, including the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) and the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), to incorporate humanitarianism into foreign policy. Though intended for an academic audience, Hoffman's accessible writing will reach any interested reader.ACynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC
See all Editorial Reviews
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.