Introduction: Peace Corps Volunteers as Intermediary Agents in the Global War on Poverty

  • Fernando Purcell


After covering the historiography around to the Peace Corps, the chapter discusses the book’s main contributions and central arguments. In particular, it highlights the thesis that the Peace Corps Volunteers acted as intermediaries who occupied a kind of “middle ground” within the framework of the global war on poverty. In contrast to unidirectional narratives about the Peace Corps that focus exclusively on volunteers in terms on objectives designed in Washington, D.C., analyses of experiences on the ground show that actions designed and implemented within the so-called Third World led volunteers to mediate between objectives proposed both in Washington and South America.


John Kennedy Peace Corps Development Decade Community development Unidirectional narratives Modernization theory Development Underdevelopment Great Society Historiography Cold War 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Purcell
    • 1
  1. 1.Pontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile

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