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Power Lines : Two Years on South Africa's Borders Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Adventure Press
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; 1st edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792241010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792241010
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"A thoughtful window into lives most tourists will never encounter."

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike DePue, OFS on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
When my local media do a "Hometown Heroes" piece or series, the heroes sometimes turn out to be firefighters or in law enforcement. Generally, however, the heroes are military personnel or officers. I've never seen somebody from the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps so designated. What does this say about our society and its values and goals?

The Peace Corps Act of 1961 sets out the mission of promoting world peace and friendship. Sargent Shriver, the architect of the Peace Corps, forcefully maintained: "No matter how many bombs we drop, no matter how skillfully our soldiers fight, we are not responding to the ultimate challenge until we show the world how and why we must all learn to live in peace--until peace becomes the only permanent alternative to war."

Jason Carter's patent dedication, ingenuity, and enthusiasm for his Peace Corps assignment in (barely) post-apartheid South Africa give us another definition of heroism to thoughtfully consider. The stark proximity of First World South Africa, mere minutes away, to the Third World South African village in which he was based is an appalling revelation.

The amount of the Peace Corps' entire budget in its first 50 years--roughly $8.7 billion--was spent by the Department of Defense budget in just five days during the past year. Bombs and drones--or Jason Carters? Which is more likely to make us safe and secure? Read this book before you answer that question.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Deryck J. Ramey on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I loaned this book out from the library hoping to find something relating to travel, to the Peace Corps, and something relating to new ideas and places. I got this and a great story from a very successful teller. Carter's experiences are exactly what many dream of while working in the Peace Corps. But this book is full of history and even more personal experience. I enjoyed it immensly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Katz on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a writer and a poet. I have been living in the USA for over 40 years. I came to the United States in 1966 as a thirteen year old. I was recommended this book by a friend at the Sarah Lawrence Summer Writing Institute where I have been writing poetry. So much in this book resonates with me. I understand many things that Jason is describing: his culture shock, the great divide between blacks and whites that remains until this day. What I related to most of all was his having to explain himself over and over as a white person -- his daily practices. That is exactly what I encountered coming to the United States. People still ask me after forty years, why it is that I am white and Jewish, and other quite ridiculous questions that to me, should be obvious. I even had both of my daughters who are five years apart call me from school, and beg me to speak to their friends on the phone, assuring them that I am white and Jewish. So, in spite of Nelson Mandela's world fame and the dismantling of apartheid, many people in the world are still basically ignorant about South Africa and its people. And I can say the same thing for South Africans: many of them are ignorant about Americans who come to their towns, especially Peace Corps workers like Jason Carter who lived as a white amongst blacks as he worked hard to update the obsolete apartheid-based black education. Reading this book was like hearing from a long lost brother, and I recommend it to anyone who is eager to learn about South Africa's history and its struggles since the ending of Apartheid.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin Brown on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Just received Power Lines and am excited to read it. I glanced at the Introduction written by the author's grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, in which he describes how his own mother joined the Peace Corps at 70. She was based in India; her grandson spent his time in Africa. Looking forward to reading!
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