The Library of Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in September 2011 with this annotated bibliography of selected books in the Library of Congress collection authored by returned Peace Corps volunteers and a few former staff members. The revised and updated bibliography contains 247 books published between 1964 and 2012.
About the Authors
These dedicated individuals 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.
Of the about 200 authors/editors cited in this bibliography, the women authored mostly memoirs, novels, and short stories. In addition to those categories, the male authors also accounted for numerous general works of nonfiction. The nonfiction authors include anthropologists, biologists, conservationists, political and social scientists, professors, and even a few politicians and former ambassadors.
About the Books
Nonfiction books make up approximately 70 percent of the bibliography, and fiction writing comprises 30 percent. 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 quarter of the cited books. In the fiction category, only about 15 percent of the 247 books may reflect the Peace Corps experience; they include 31 novels and 10 collections of short stories. No children’s books are included in this bibliography. 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 “Bibliography of Books by Peace Corps Writers” (external link) 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.