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Peace Corps: the Icon and the Reality

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470185644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470185640
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,678,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In today's Peace Corps the classic 60s "spirit" of empowerment and innovation are thrown to the birds!!! People are still have amazing experiences despite Peace Corps Washington. Describes some of the structural dis-function of government and GIVES VOICE to those who question it.

Reveals the Washington offices to be loaded with self satisfied preachy do-gooders in stable politically connected power positions or clueless careerists carrying out orders.

....with so little oversight and they are hurting volunteers with their malfeasance.... not to mention the disillusionment and apathy.

I can see why there is so little talk about accomplishments of Peace Corps it's another backwater of government... churning away to SERVE ITSELF FIRST...then maybe its overseas staff and volunteers,

It's to complex a subject to touch.... HOWEVER this essay answered so many of my questions, I wish it were longer and had more volunteer testimonies..... it's a ballzy piece of writing.... hope it gets more traction in the community.... excellent and well researched! 5 stars!
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Format: Kindle Edition
The writing is relevant, to-the-point, but easy to read. You don't have to be involved with the Peace Corps to get something from this book. This issue is important; I'm really glad that somebody chose to write about it. Plus, the price is incredibly reasonable. 5 stars all around!
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The PC has both benefitted and been stunted by it's birthright as our favorite vestige from the New Frontier. While it was a bold idea and ideal in the 60s, it has morphed over 50 years into just another bureaucratic agency run by government appointees who have little understanding of what is needed since the agency is neither a developmental program ( which most Americans think it is) or a cross cultural program for young Americans
( which is probably closer to the reality). The truth is no one seems to know what the PC really is. There is the myth and then there is the reality. Stung by public disclosures over the last few years concerning a profound disregard for volunteer safety, the PC has begun to make necessary changes in this area but the hypersensitive agency is reluctant to revisit its mission or visualize how different the agency might look if it were being developed today to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Trust me, this is a must read for anyone contemplating devoting 27 months of their life to the PC. The issue of meaningful work is an important one as is the relationship the PC has with its volunteers. If you don't think so.....
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Watkins' analysis of the Peace Corps is incomplete and his history investigation evidently stops abruptly with the Agency Assessment of June 2010. He summarizes well the various studies done in the last ten years documenting problems with the Peace Corps. He lauds, and rightly so, the comprehensive analysis done by Ludlam and presented to Congress in 2007. That legislation which was designed to reform Peace Corps did not pass and the then Bush administrations political appointed Director did not support the legislation. Fast forward, however, to 2011. The Obama appointed Director, Aaron Williams, worked with Congress and a brilliant group of RPCV women, First Response Action, to create and PASS the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011. That legislation goes a long way to correct the problems of Peace Corps safety. It is a model for all organizations. The opposition to this legislation did not come from the "Peace Corps bureaucrats," but rather from some of the "old hands" of the Peace Corps. Ironically, Watkins also lauds Dickenson's important website: Peace Corps Wikipedi. That website highlighted the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, for months. It is a serious omission to fail to cite that legislation. CORRECTION; I apologize. Watkins does cite the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

Watkins also does not adequately describe the unique personnel system of Peace Corps. Tenure is limited to five years and successful service as a Peace Corps Volunteer is NOT a prerequisite for employment with the agency. So, the "bureaucrats" are leaving all the time; there is constant turnover and turmoil. He is absolutely correct about the extraordinary high number of political appointees in decision making positions.
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