Cover image for The politics of the Peace Corps & VISTA
The politics of the Peace Corps & VISTA
Reeves, T. Zane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Tuscaloosa, Ala. : University of Alabama Press, [1988]

Physical Description:
x, 215 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1510 Lexile.
Format :

On Order

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Founded under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, the Peace Corps and VISTA emerged from the 1960s with an activist organizational culture. Reeves, professor of public administration and former Peace Corps volunteer, finds that each agency has suffered from tumultuous confrontations between its organizational culturedefended by civil servants and agency volunteersand the ideological views of its politically appointed chief administrators. The author convincingly argues that for VISTA and the Peace Corps such confrontation had more severe repercussions than it did for other agencies, but does not offer suggestions for alleviating the problem. Important for understanding the effects of political leadership on government agencies. Steven D. Zink, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This case study of two organizations is both descriptively interesting and theoretically useful. The Peace Corps and VISTA, as sister agencies, have always operated against the prevailing norms of government. This "against-the-current" operation is no less true of agency administration as it is of substantive efforts and purpose. As a former volunteer and current public administration scholar, the author weaves a thoughtful analysis that reflects care and well-documented attention. As a result, the book is more than a study of administration and policy. It also provides insights into presidencies from Kennedy to Reagan. Perhaps its most useful feature is to explain more about successful management styles under conditions of conflict and opposition. This is an important work in administrative leadership. The author's use of organizational culture as an integrating theory allows this and other key points to be brought forward in a meaningfully analytic fashion. The book is recommended for an especially wide range of scholars, including students of public administration, organization theory, public policy, processes, policy analysis, the presidency, international affairs, and ideology. -W. P. Browne, Central Michigan University

Table of Contents

1 Organizational Culture and Ideologyp. 1
2 An Activist Peace Corps and Vistap. 14
3 Richard Nixon's War on Povertyp. 43
4 Political Education at Actionp. 68
5 A New Left Ideologyp. 91
6 Reagan's Peace Corps and Vistap. 120
7 Epilogue: a Government of Enemiesp. 154
Notesp. 173
Bibliographyp. 196
Indexp. 212
About the Author