Monday, December 17, 2012

The Book the Peace Corps Doesn’t Want You to Read

J.Grigsby Crawford recounts his experiences in the Peace Corps, in ‘The Gringo: A Memoir’, garnering him praise from Chevy Chase, noteworthy 
individuals, and readers


As a young man in the Peace Corps, J. Grigsby Crawford had harrowing experiences and exciting adventures. Within a few weeks of his arrival in South America, he narrowly escaped from a kidnapping plot hatched by the people he was sent there to help.  The Gringo: A Memoir chronicles this and other adventures that are certain to entice readers and keep them at the edge of their seat.

Crawford’s journey is one that is filled with danger, drugs, and sex.  Despite facing many adversities, including serious illness, he perseveres, spending two years in the Amazon.

On the surface, it is a coming-of-age tale about a young man who is faced with gritty realities.  Beneath the surface, Crawford reveals the true nature of the Peace Corps, which he calls “a government agency that is long past its prime—and dangerously so”.  While his story and the underlying message are serious and the danger that he faces was real, Crawford promises that The Gringo is “both hilarious and heartbreaking”.

The Gringo has already garnered praise for noteworthy individuals, including Chevy Chase, who calls the book a “must-read”.  G. Brown, an award-winning author and rock and roll journalist call it “the Moby Dick of Peace Corps stories” and compares the writing style to that of Hunter S. Thompson (“had he lived a life of service”).

Crawford seamlessly interweaves a cast of flawed characters with vivid depictions, exciting locales, honesty, wisdom, and a sardonic outlook for a read that is truly unique.  Just as Crawford got more than he bargained for signing up for the Peace Corps, readers, too, will get more than they bargained for, but in a good way.

J. Grigsby Crawford

J. Grigsby Crawford grew up in the Great American West. He graduated with honors from the George Washington University with a degree in Political Science & English. Upon graduating, he joined the Peace Corps. His nearly two and a half years in Ecuador—first on the coast and later, after a failed abduction attempt, in the Amazonian region—provided the material for his first book, The Gringo. As a journalist, Mr. Crawford has covered everything from presidential primaries and politics to murder and local mosquito populations. His writing has appeared in Congressional Quarterly, the Colorado Daily newspaper, Mile High Sports Magazine, and various blogs, ranging in topics from sports to men's fashion. He lives, somewhat peacefully, in a cozy little neighborhood tucked in Northwest Washington, D.C. 

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Grigsby Crawford

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