We’ve just launched our new website! Some features may still be in the works – thank you for your patience as we fine-tune your experience.


April 18, 2022

What Happens When Diplomats Fail to Understand the History of Nations Where They Serve — from the Perspective of the People in Those Nations?

History Shock When History Collides with Foreign Relations By John Dickson University of Kansas Press   Reviewed by Nathalie Vadnais   John Dickson gleans insights from 25 years as a foreign service officer, much of which included hard lessons that came from not having a deeper knowledge of a host country’s history. That leads time and again to what he terms “history shock,” wherein dramatically different interpretations of history have blocked diplomatic understanding and cooperation. Dickson served with the Peace Corps in Gabon 1976–79 before joining the U.S. Information Agency in 1984; he later served with the State Department when the two...

April 17, 2022

As a Child, She Fled Nazi Germany with Her Family. Two Decades After the War, She Was a Chemist Teaching at a University in Lagos with the Peace Corps.

My Years in the Early Peace Corps Nigeria, 1964–1965 (Volume 1) Ethiopia, 1965–1966 (Volume 2) By Sonja Krause Goodwin Hamilton Books   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Sonja Krause Goodwin had already traveled far from home, earned a doctorate in chemistry, and worked for six years as a physical chemist when she joined the Peace Corps. Born in St. Gall, Switzerland, in August 1933, she had fled Nazi Germany with her family and resettled in Manhattan, where her parents opened a German bookstore. Sonja entered elementary school without speaking a word of English. Science is where she found her calling....

December 16, 2021

Two Remembrances: F. Kingston Berlew and Murray Frank

Kindred spirits who they helped shape the early years of the Peace Corps By Bill Josephson   Pictured: Dr. Mahmud Hussain, vice chancellor of Dacca University — one of the host institutions for Peace Corps Volunteers serving in East Pakistan since October 1961 — chats with Peace Corps Representative to Pakistan F. Kingston Berlew of Washington, DC. Photo courtesy Peace Corps   F. Kingston Berlew, a distinguished lawyer, walked into my Peace Corps General Counsel’s office unannounced in 1961 and said that he wanted to join the Peace Corps. He had a wife and children; service as a Volunteer was out. King...

May 11, 2021

Annotation: Changing World — The Globe in 1961, the Year the Peace Corps Was Founded

In 1961, nine countries welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers. THE GLOBE IN 1961, the year nine countries welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers — and the year after 17 nations in Africa gained independence. For the first Peace Corps programs, demand is strongest for teachers and agricultural workers. Volunteers are urged to embark on their journey in the spirit of learning rather than teaching. To lay the groundwork, Sargent Shriver, the first Director of the Peace Corps, undertakes a round-the-world trip to eight nations from April to May.   Photos by Brett Simison. Words by Jake Arce and Steven...

November 1, 2020

In Memoriam: Walter Carrington

He led Peace Corps programs, served as a top diplomat, and achieved important milestones in civil rights. By Jonathan Pearson   One of the first country directors appointed by Sargent Shriver in 1961, Walter C. Carrington led Peace Corps programs in Tunisia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone in the 1960s before serving as Regional Director for Africa. But that was just one facet of a remarkable life. Prior to that, at Harvard he founded the chapter of the NAACP. He was the youngest-ever member of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and in the late 1950s his commission work included leading an investigation into the racist practices of the Boston Red Sox...

Skip to content