Peace Corps

Peace Corps, agency of the U.S. government, whose purpose is to assist underdeveloped countries in meeting their needs for trained manpower. The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by executive order of President Kennedy; Congress approved it as a permanent agency within the Dept. of State the same year. Peace Corps volunteers serve for two-year periods. Currently volunteers serve in more than 70 countries in such areas as agriculture; the teaching of languages, mathematics, and science; vocational training; business and public administration; and natural resource development. In 1981 the Peace Corps was made an independent agency. The program now also sends volunteers to the former Soviet-bloc nations and Communist nations and tries to attract more people with technical training or special skills, particularly in agriculture. In 2005 volunteers were deployed in the United States for the first time, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

See R. Carey, The Peace Corps (1970); B. K. Ashdoranner, A Moment in History: The First Ten Years of the Peace Corps (1971); L. Carter, Away from Home (1977); T. Z. Reeves, The Politics of the Peace Corps and Vista (1988); K. Schwarz, An Oral History of the Peace Corps (1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Peace Corps: Selected full-text books and articles

The Politics of the Peace Corps & Vista By T. Zane Reeves University of Alabama Press, 1988
The Peace Corps: Who, How, and Where By Charles E. Wingenbach John Day Co., 1961
Peace Corps: Building Bridges over the Digital Divide By Fitzgerald, Monica The Public Manager, Vol. 29, No. 4, Winter 2000
Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and "Nation Building" in the Kennedy Era By Michael E. Latham University of North Carolina Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Modernization for Peace: The Peace Corps, Community Development, and America's Mission"
The Perils of Missionary Diplomacy: The United States Peace Corps Volunteers in the Republic of Ghana By Amin, Julius A The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring 1999
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The New Work Begins at Home; the Peace Corps at 25 By Wofford, Harris The Nation, Vol. 241, November 30, 1985
My Time in the Peace Corps By Waldorf, Saral The Public Interest, Winter 2001
A Historical Guide to the U. S. Government By George Thomas Kurian Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: "Peace Corps" begins on p. 454
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