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Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story Hardcover – October, 1986

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st edition (October 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151194351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151194353
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is a light and breezy review of the origins of the Peace Corps during the Kennedy years. Based on interviews with various leading figures, it aims to provide a "mood-and-flavor" account of these years, particularly as these were personified in the Corps' first director, R. Sargent Shriver. Filled with photographs and entertaining stories, the book works as a charming, first-person history of the people who made the corps what it was in its formative years. Redmon makes no pretense toward scholarly objectivity. Instead, readers who want a more balanced understanding of the significance of the early Peace Corps should be encouraged to seek out the larger body of more challenging scholarship that already surrounds the Kennedy presidency. Charles DeBenedetti, History Dept., Univ. of Toledo
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Pickens on February 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Coates Redmon, a staffer in Sargent Shriver's Peace Corps, died February 22, 2005 in Washington, DC. Her book "Come as You Are" is considered to be one of the finest (and most entertaining) recountings of the birth of the Peace Corps and how it was literally thrown together in a matter of weeks. If you want to know what it felt like to be young and idealistic in the 1960's, get an out-of-print copy. We honor her memory.
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By Jon C. Halter on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is not exactly what the subtitle states: the Peace Corps story. At least it's not the Peace Corps story most Americans have heard before. You won't find many hairshirt tales of volunteers living in the wilds of Asia, Africa, or South America, inspiring accounts of idealistic young middle-class Americans trying to aid the poor of the third world.

Instead, Coates Redmond has recorded the Peace Corps' untold story--a play-by-play account of its establishment from hypothetical idea proposed (as legend has it) by John F. Kennedy in an impromptu campaign speech on October 14, 1960 at Ann Arbor, Mich. (Actually, others had proposed similar voluntary service concepts before and in more definite terms.)

With more of the whirlwind enthusiasm that dominated the New Frontiersmen in early 1961, the Peace Corps went from idea to working organization in a year. Kennedy tabbed his energetic brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, to head the fledgling operation, and the tireless Shriver reached out left and right to pluck idealistic young men to join him (and, with the exception of the author, they were virtually all males--as was true with most government organizations in 1961).

The situation is uniquely American, it seems. In a time of crisis, such as the outbreak of war or the depths of the Great Depression, national leaders call upon outstanding individuals to organize overnight a smoothly functioning organization to handle a particular problem. Working from scratch, the organizers often use trial-and-error, bruising many egos along the way.

Such was the experience of the Peace Corps.
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