By Philip Weiss
In 1975, a brand new team of Peace Corps volunteers landed at the island country of Tonga. between them was once Deborah Gardner -- a gorgeous twenty-three-year-old who, within the following yr, will be stabbed twenty-two occasions and left for lifeless inside of her hut. one other volunteer grew to become himself in to the Tongan police, and plenty of of the opposite american citizens have been definite he had devoted the crime. yet by using the kingdom division, he back domestic a loose guy. even though the tale used to be stored quiet within the usa, Deb Gardner's demise and the outlandish aftermath took on mythical proportions in Tonga. Now journalist Philip Weiss "shines sunlight at the evidence of this gruesome case with the fervor of an avenging angel" (Chicago Tribune), exposing a gripping story of affection, violence, and clashing beliefs. With bravura reporting and brilliant, novelistic prose, Weiss transforms a Polynesian legend right into a singular artifact of yankee historical past and a profoundly relocating human tale.
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Additional info for American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps (P.S.)
6 The Perfect Volunteer John Kennedy signed an executive order creating Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, and the program was overwhelmed with applications. It was at the forefront of the culture, and ambitious kids wanted to join, Ivy League kids, kids who saw their future in academia or politics or business and understood Peace Corps to be a gold star on the résumé. The founders of Peace Corps believed that they could change the world forever by sending forth an army of 100,000 kids who hated colonialism and would live in chicken coops, but from the start Congress expressed concerns.
Emile taught art at Tonga High. At heart, he was a California bohemian. He moved easily in the Tongan demimonde. The fakaleitis who hung out across from the International Dateline Hotel did a cross-dressing fashion show for him, and he took their pictures. From time to time a fokisi came to his fale to spend the night. Deb teased him about it, and if she thought he wasn’t telling her the truth, she rubbed her nose with the tip of her finger. Emile wrote home about her. “I’ve got a new next-door neighbor.
She said she was trying to teach them to think independently, and then they reacted like she’d said something sacrilegious. “They don’t even want to have any initiative or independence of their own,” she said, and though she tried to get them to think about having control over their lives instead of being slave labor, all they seemed to want to do was get married and have babies. Emile taught art at Tonga High. At heart, he was a California bohemian. He moved easily in the Tongan demimonde. The fakaleitis who hung out across from the International Dateline Hotel did a cross-dressing fashion show for him, and he took their pictures.