A Marine’s Path to Peace
“Timely, relevant, and critically important.”—Greg Barrett, The Huffington Post
As a twenty-year-old college student heading into the Marines, Rye Barcott spent part of his summer living in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya to better understand extreme ethnic violence. He learned Swahili, asked questions, and listened to young people talk about how they survived in poverty. With the help of Tabitha Atieno Festo, a nurse, and Salim Mohamed, a hardscrabble community organizer, Rye built a nongovernmental organization—Carolina for Kibera—that would develop a new generation of leaders from within one of Africa’s largest slums. He continued his leadership in CFK while serving as a Marine and took the tools he learned in Nairobi to become a more effective counterinsurgent and peacekeeper. “[The book] is detailed, vivid, earnest, and remarkable in rendering with equal intensity his interactions with poor children in Nairobi and his experiences at OCS or on patrol in Fallujah. I was struck by its epigraph, which is also the slogan of Carolina for Kibera: ‘Talent is universal; opportunity is not.’ That is one of the clearest lessons of my own experience around the world over the years. It is heartening, in the current political mood, that a young, talented, ambitious American would choose that as the theme he wanted to stress. It is an interesting book . . . and an encouraging story.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic
For more information please visit: ithappenedonthewaytowar.com.
Rye Barcott co-founded the non-governmental organization Carolina For Kibera to prevent violence and empower youth through participatory development while he was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, he lives in North Carolina and works at Duke Energy.
It Happened on the Way to War has been adopted for common reading programs at:
Boca Raton High School (FL); Broward College (FL); East Carolina University (NC); LaGrange College (GA); North Carolina State University; SUNY, Potsdam