The Library of Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in September 2011 with an annotated bibliography of selected books in the Library of Congress collection authored by returned Peace Corps volunteers and a few former staff members. This revised and updated bibliography includes books published between 1964 and 2015. The earliest cited books were authored by Sargent Shriver (1964), Earle and Rhoda Brooks (1965), and Arnold Zeitlin (1965).
About the Authors
The cited authors and editors were among the many dedicated individuals who served in more than 70 developing countries in every corner of the world: from familiar places such as Brazil, Ecuador, and Morocco, to lesser known ones such as Gabon, Benin, and Togo. One of the remotest and most obscure places where one author served is Birobidjan, capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia. Nine cited authors served in Afghanistan or Iran, in another era when those countries welcomed the Peace Corps.
About the Books
This bibliography includes both fiction and nonfiction books. Within the larger nonfiction category, most of the books are scholarly or journalistic works.
Although “the Peace Corps experience” is a core component of this annotated bibliography, the niche category of memoirs may account for only about a fifth of the cited books. Most of the books cited herein relate to the developing world in general.
Whatever the subject, these books are representative of the creativity, scholarship, and knowledge of the developing world of authors with Peace Corps service. As such, these books attest to the formative influence that Peace Corps service had on the authors.
The sources for the Peace Corps service information are the the Peace Corps Worldwide (external link), “Bibliography of Books by Peace Corps Writers” of PeaceCorpswriters.org, and the National Peace Corps Association’s Directory of the Peace Corps Community (2006).
Note: This selected bibliography attempts to be representative of authors with Peace Corps service whose books are in the Library of Congress collections, and whose topics relate to “the Peace Corps experience” or the developing world in general. This bibliography does not reflect any official endorsement or policy position by the Library of Congress or the U.S. government in general.