In Search of Decency: The Unexpected Power of Rich and Poor

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9781783060610: In Search of Decency: The Unexpected Power of Rich and Poor

"Lying flat on the ambassador's floor in Liberia, bullets shattered my understanding of life, compelling me to rethink the meaning of what I had seen over and over again, so many people suppressed across all cultures in which I had lived.  People dominated by a few driven by greed and power, power enforced by those bullets now overhead that required answers from me, answers I did not have, bullets that demanded courage to search in the chaos for decency." [from the Prologue to the Journey]Michael Heyn's uncommon memoir--In Search of Decency: The Unexpected Power of Rich and Poor--is a gripping and exhilarating inside story of the struggle to eliminate poverty and growing inequality around the world.  It is a global perspective and analysis of the ever-widening divide between rich and poor that cut across the 15 countries, including the US, in which he lived and worked mostly in service of the Peace Corps and the United Nations.Michael shares his experiences over those nearly 50 years, including two years spent among the poor in a village high in the altiplano of Peru, confronting warlords in Liberia, working in the urban slums of Kenya and Pakistan, fighting discrimination against remote ethnic minorities in Bangladesh and Vietnam, engaging extreme poverty in Nepal and South Sudan, building development alliances in Thailand, ousting of dictators in Ethiopia, Malawi and Yemen, and not least, addressing the rising and shameful disparities in America.  Michael's book is a very personal account, full of widely varied vignettes from a life lived on the front edge of the unanticipated--not least his bracing encounters with the renowned from Marilyn Monroe to Mother Teresa.  It is a lifelong tale from an unsettling yet inspiring childhood to facing the challenges, setbacks and rewards of joining an uncertain quest for equal opportunity and justice through international development.  It is an optimistic journey of hard won and accumulating discovery grounded in a belief in the basic decency and potential of people to cross over what divides them and to come together for their common good.  It proposes a unexpected bottom up empowerment and practical partnership of rich and poor to accomplish this.  

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About the Author:

Michael Heyn was born in 1940 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent his early years adjacent to his father's Summit Hotel along the historic Cumberland Road in the densely forested mountains surrounding the coal mining country near Uniontown. On this father's retirement, the family moved West, with a brief stay in Colorado Springs before reaching in 1947 Coronado, California that was to become Michael's childhood home. Michael attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and later Coronado High School where he was honored as the Outstanding Student of his graduating class and awarded a position on the All-California High School Football Team. In 1958, Michael went on to enroll in the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana where he completed his Freshman year scholastically ranking 3rd out of a class of 1500. He transferred the following year to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California from which he graduated Cum Laude with a Political Science degree. Following his marriage, he undertook an initial year of Law School studies at Stanford before transferring and graduating with a Master's degree in Latin American Studies (Luso-Brazilian Hispanic American Institute, Stanford University). In 1964, Michael joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in a poor village (Manzanares) in the altiplano of Peru outside the regional town of Huancayo, where he assisted in the formation of a chicken raising cooperative. Michael entered the London School of Economics in 1966 for post-graduate studies in Development Administration, following which he was selected for an internship program with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Shortly thereafter, he joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York as a Rural Development Project Officer where he served for nearly 5 years. From 1967 to 2012, Michael served the UNDP and UNFPA (Population Fund) in international development in both technical and representative capacities with postings in India, Fiji (South Pacific Region), Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Thailand (Asia and Pacific Region), Kosovo, Bangladesh, and Yemen. He also carried out shorter term assignments for UNICEF in Ethiopia and Pakistan, and other UN and development agencies in Mongolia, South Sudan, and Vietnam. Michael remarried in 1976 and has 3 daughters. Michael now resides in Portland, Oregon where he has served on the Oregon Governor's Poverty Task Force and as an Adjunct Professor in Applied International Development at Portland State University.

Review:

"Never have I learned so much from one book... about the plight of our fellow man, about geography, about the work of the UN...The author's accomplishment and contribution to approaching the perplexing problem of social and economic inequality in the third world are fascinating reading against a backdrop of deep personal experiences."

Gunnar Sedleniek

"The book brought to mind so many international headlines in my lifetime and offered me an on-the-ground look at the human stories behind the headlines. And those stories kept me on the edge of my seat! Mr. Heyn includes historical background to set up the context for his programs for development, which is both informative and enriching. While the wonderfulness of this book to me is as a memoir, it sets out an optimistic framework for those pondering the way for social change."

Karen Edwards

"As the leader of a Peace Corps book club, I've read too many memoirs in which the author's Peace Corps accomplishments form the opening, body, and conclusion of the book. Michael Heyn's book...is absolutely refreshing because his Peace Corps experience, while pivotal in his life, plays a bit role in the arc of the book. Heyn's observations from his inspirational career, mostly spent working for the UN, dwarf his account of his early Peace Corps experience, both in significance and in book pages...The stories he tells are stunning, and his reflections about how humans should engage with each other are spot-on. This book is recommended to anyone who likes surprising memoirs, has curiosity about lesser-understood parts of the world, and/or wishes to be influenced by an optimistic voice about a responsible way forward for humanity."

Bill Stein

"Really good read showing the difference an individual can make all over the world. Felt like I was a part of what Michael was doing. Contained beautiful descriptions of out of the way places. Really enjoyed it."

Statia Carey

Michael Heyn's thoughtful memoir of his life and times as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mid-Sixties and then as a staff member of the United Nations for forty exciting years exemplifies the spirit and the substance of the people who responded to President John Kennedy's clarion call for peace-makers.”
 

William Evensen

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Book Description Troubador Publishing, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A vision and practical path of a new partnership of rich and poor to create a better world. An uncommon memoir, Michael Heyn s cross-cultural journey through pervasive human adversity unexpectedly reveals a positive global vision of human decency and caring relevant as much to America as to Yemen. His journey passes through 50 years living and working across countries spanning from the United States to India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Pacific Islands, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Thailand, Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen. His story stretches from an unsettling childhood to a lifetime in support of the struggle for justice, opportunity and change of those left on the far sides of an ever expanding divide between rich and poor. From living as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote Peruvian mountain village to innumerable confrontations with prejudice, abuse, deprivation, conflict and war over a long career in service of the United Nations, Heyn shares what he learned from those caught up on either side of the chasm. A unique insight into and historical understanding of both alienation and aspiration that cut through all human cultures and relations, Heyn envisions a break from the past isolation of greed and selfishness on the one hand and a stark hopelessness on the other. This is a voyage of accumulating discovery that exposes what must change if people are to cross over the divide to come together for their common good, no matter how antithetical this may seem. It is a belief in the basic decency of people both rich and poor as the magic to realise such change. Heyn sets out a practical path to achieve this goal to be actively pursued and managed by those bridging the divide. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, it is an exhilarating path that will benefit all engaged and instill reform of our societies values and governing systems. It is the vision of an immense new power of rich and poor to realise an altered way of life and a better world. In Search of Decency is a gripping memoir that provides cross cultural and political analysis, and views on international development. My hope is to inspire people, rich and poor, young and old, corporate leaders and agents of change, that the world can be a more just and decent place, and that their commitment to join together is the power to make this happen, says author Michael Heyn. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781783060610

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Book Description Troubador Publishing, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A vision and practical path of a new partnership of rich and poor to create a better world. An uncommon memoir, Michael Heyn s cross-cultural journey through pervasive human adversity unexpectedly reveals a positive global vision of human decency and caring relevant as much to America as to Yemen. His journey passes through 50 years living and working across countries spanning from the United States to India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Pacific Islands, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Thailand, Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen. His story stretches from an unsettling childhood to a lifetime in support of the struggle for justice, opportunity and change of those left on the far sides of an ever expanding divide between rich and poor. From living as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote Peruvian mountain village to innumerable confrontations with prejudice, abuse, deprivation, conflict and war over a long career in service of the United Nations, Heyn shares what he learned from those caught up on either side of the chasm.A unique insight into and historical understanding of both alienation and aspiration that cut through all human cultures and relations, Heyn envisions a break from the past isolation of greed and selfishness on the one hand and a stark hopelessness on the other. This is a voyage of accumulating discovery that exposes what must change if people are to cross over the divide to come together for their common good, no matter how antithetical this may seem. It is a belief in the basic decency of people both rich and poor as the magic to realise such change. Heyn sets out a practical path to achieve this goal to be actively pursued and managed by those bridging the divide. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, it is an exhilarating path that will benefit all engaged and instill reform of our societies values and governing systems. It is the vision of an immense new power of rich and poor to realise an altered way of life and a better world. In Search of Decency is a gripping memoir that provides cross cultural and political analysis, and views on international development. My hope is to inspire people, rich and poor, young and old, corporate leaders and agents of change, that the world can be a more just and decent place, and that their commitment to join together is the power to make this happen, says author Michael Heyn. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781783060610

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Book Description Matador. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 386 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 1.3in.A vision and practical path of a new partnership of rich and poor to create a better world. An uncommon memoir, Michael Heyns cross-cultural journey through pervasive human adversity unexpectedly reveals a positive global vision of human decency and caring relevant as much to America as to Yemen. His journey passes through 50 years living and working across countries spanning from the United States to India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Pacific Islands, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Thailand, Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen. His story stretches from an unsettling childhood to a lifetime in support of the struggle for justice, opportunity and change of those left on the far sides of an ever expanding divide between rich and poor. From living as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote Peruvian mountain village to innumerable confrontations with prejudice, abuse, deprivation, conflict and war over a long career in service of the United Nations, Heyn shares what he learned from those caught up on either side of the chasm. A unique insight into and historical understanding of both alienation and aspiration that cut through all human cultures and relations, Heyn envisions a break from the past isolation of greed and selfishness on the one hand and a stark hopelessness on the other. This is a voyage of accumulating discovery that exposes what must change if people are to cross over the divide to come together for their common good, no matter how antithetical this may seem. It is a belief in the basic decency of people both rich and poor as the magic to realise such change. Heyn sets out a practical path to achieve this goal to be actively pursued and managed by those bridging the divide. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, it is an exhilarating path that will benefit all engaged and instill reform of our societies values and governing systems. It is the vision of an immense new power of rich and poor to realise an altered way of life and a better world. In Search of Decency is a gripping memoir that provides cross cultural and political analysis, and views on international development. My hope is to inspire people, rich and poor, young and old, corporate leaders and agents of change, that the world can be a more just and decent place, and that their commitment to join together is the power to make this happen, says author Michael Heyn. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781783060610

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Book Description Troubador Publishing, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A vision and practical path of a new partnership of rich and poor to create a better world. An uncommon memoir, Michael Heyn s cross-cultural journey through pervasive human adversity unexpectedly reveals a positive global vision of human decency and caring relevant as much to America as to Yemen. His journey passes through 50 years living and working across countries spanning from the United States to India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Pacific Islands, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Thailand, Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen. His story stretches from an unsettling childhood to a lifetime in support of the struggle for justice, opportunity and change of those left on the far sides of an ever expanding divide between rich and poor. From living as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote Peruvian mountain village to innumerable confrontations with prejudice, abuse, deprivation, conflict and war over a long career in service of the United Nations, Heyn shares what he learned from those caught up on either side of the chasm. A unique insight into and historical understanding of both alienation and aspiration that cut through all human cultures and relations, Heyn envisions a break from the past isolation of greed and selfishness on the one hand and a stark hopelessness on the other. This is a voyage of accumulating discovery that exposes what must change if people are to cross over the divide to come together for their common good, no matter how antithetical this may seem. It is a belief in the basic decency of people both rich and poor as the magic to realise such change. Heyn sets out a practical path to achieve this goal to be actively pursued and managed by those bridging the divide. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, it is an exhilarating path that will benefit all engaged and instill reform of our societies values and governing systems. It is the vision of an immense new power of rich and poor to realise an altered way of life and a better world. In Search of Decency is a gripping memoir that provides cross cultural and political analysis, and views on international development. My hope is to inspire people, rich and poor, young and old, corporate leaders and agents of change, that the world can be a more just and decent place, and that their commitment to join together is the power to make this happen, says author Michael Heyn. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9781783060610

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