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How I Invented the Peace Corps (Sort Of)

September 2018

by Gerald Kamens One morning in March 1959, a top secret policy paper appeared on my boss’s desk at Dwight Eisenhower’s Bureau of the Budget—later reborn as the Office of Management and Budget. Its subject: How to counter the Soviet … Read more

Uncle Sam, Matchmaker

December 2017

by Ben East I pictured myself in a Peace Corps-issue hammock on an island somewhere, or crossing high glaciers in the glaring Himalayan sun. Then the recruiter called and offered Malawi. Pointless to remind her what I’d written where the … Read more

Peace Corps’ early days: The day the FBI came knocking

October 2017

by John C. Long Reprinted with permission from John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps shortly after his inauguration to fulfill a promise he’d made to University of Michigan students at a bull session after a presidential campaign speech. … Read more

Why the Peace Corps?

January 2017

by John Coyne On this last day of 2016, I thought I might try and chart the impulses in America that brought about the creation of the Peace Corps–something positive to think about as we wait for 2017–and before all … Read more

Letter from Niger May 2003

June 2003

The Winds of War Blow By It would be overstating the case to say that the Iraq War turned out to be a non-event in Niger…but not by much. In the months leading up to the war, many of us … Read more

Letters from Niger: Peace Corps Adventures in the Sahara

December 2000

When Jim Bullington, a former U.S. ambassador and regular contributor to these pages, decided he’d had enough of retirement, he applied for a Peace Corps position and soon found himself in West Africa. He promised to keep our readers posted … Read more