All You Need is Love: The History of the Peace Corps Essay

Decent Essays

In the 1960s many Americans attempted to redefine their nation's identity both at home and abroad while the Peace Corps was taking place. Nothing reflected this better than the Peace Corps. In All You Need is Love Elizabeth Cobbs-Hoffman explores the history of the Peace Corps, and reveals, that by tracing its development in the last forty years, one can gain a better understanding on how it became the ideal institution of social reform in the 1960s. Cobbs-Hoffman begins her story by exploring the background of American idealism. She declares that the United States, since its founding, has perceived itself as a crusading nation whose mission has been to promote the spread of its form of "benevolent" democracy. This however, has often …show more content…

power. Cobbs-Hoffman's history in the book shows that Americans and historians have had the tendency to divide the world into good and evil. She calls the Vietnam War the “Peace Corps evil twin,” and in many ways this saying is true. Both were initiated with a spirit of innocence and the belief that they could show other Americans control. Each had their view of the world altered by the cultures and realities, which they encountered. And when it often happened it was an overwhelming experience. In the end, the lefts and the right's disregard the spirit of the sixties and reveal that the Peace Corps attained its objective in creating better understanding among Americans and the rest of the world. The nation was powerful and thriving, the president was vigorous and young, and a confident generation was gathering its forces to test the New Frontier. The cold was well in motion, but to relate to a song that went, “put a little love in your heart,” then “the world would be a better place”(Classroom Classics). The Peace Corps, took part in being capable of the to do spirit of the sixties, embodied America’s long pursuit of moral leadership on a global scale. Crossing four decades and three continents, this story of the Peace Corps and the people and politics behind it is a fascinating look at American idealism of the second half of the twentieth century. More than any other

Get Access