Against the Current

The April 2018 issue of WAG magazine features an interview with the authors and makes the connection between Mark Higgins' service in Africa and the founding of the Peace Corps.  One small excerpt: 

"News of the “missing” American made headlines back home, reaching the attention of a man embarked on a bid for the nation’s highest office. How many, John F. Kennedy asked at a University of Michigan rally that October, were willing to serve at home and abroad?

While no one knows where Kennedy got the idea for the Peace Corps, Bill says, it seems reasonable to conclude that it came in part from Mark’s example.

When Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, he named his brother-in-law Sargent Shriver as its first director. In a not-so-quirk of fate, Shriver had been a fraternity brother of Mark’s father at Yale University."

On October 12, 2015, Robert E. Gribbin, the former U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda  who held Foreign Service postings in 14 African nations, wrote a review on his blog Africa Reflections

Here are two excerpts from his review:

"Although Mark was certainly a nice congenial young man with a brighter future ahead of him once he found himself and got back on track, his death elevated him to martyr status, especially as seen by his cousin. He is even touted as an inspiration for the Peace Corps; perhaps he was. Many young Americans have found themselves in service to others."

"For those who want to learn about Albert Schweitzer’s operation in Gabon, this book is relevant. It also reveals solid details of what the Congo was like as it crashed into anarchy in July 1960.  Finally the story of Mark Higgins’ short life and his tragic end provide a cogent tale."

The Spring 2015 issue of Knightlines, the University of Bridgeport alumni magazine, featured the book, which the editors said "captures the grit, glamour, danger and exhilaration of Higgins's experience working for Schweitzer before undertaking his most grueling challenge of all: a solo journey across Africa.

The Winter 2014-2015 issue of the Bancroft Academy Bulletin (alumni magazine) carried a story about  publication of the book.

On January 16, 2015, Eddy Hoedt,  historian for the Belgian Para-Commandos, added Against the Current to the "boeken nieuws" portion of his website "Eddy's History Corner." Part of the description is in Dutch. Mr. Hoedt served as an expert source for detailed accounts of the Belgian army's activities in the Congo during the period of July 1960.

On March 15, a major story and photos about Against the Current appeared in the U.K.-based online daily newspaper Daily  "Family finally finds answers in brutal slaying of American industry heir, 20, killed by troops in the Congo in 1960."

On April 5, 2015, WICN Radio in Worcester, Massachusetts, featured the authors on Business Beat (hosted by Steve Jones-D'Agostino) discussing Against the Current.  Listen to a podcast of the 29-minute interview.

On March 25, Information Bravo blogger Karim DeSantis wrote about the lecture at the Haston Library by Clarinda Higgins.

On March 22, Westport Now reported on the Albert Schweitzer Symposium where Against the Current was discussed.

On March 15, 2015, reporter Richard Duckett of the Sunday Worcester Telegram & Gazette wrote a 1,500-word story titled, "Searching for answers in the death of young Worcester man in Congo". It's an emotional story about the authors' journey of discovery and the legacy of Mark Higgins.

On January 14, 2015, Rene Wadlow, editor of the journal of world politics Transnational Perspectives and the representative to the United Nations (Geneva) of the Association of World Citizens, commemorated the 140th anniversary of the birth of Albert Schweitzer by reminding his readers of Schweitzer's moral vision, and by offering a lengthy reference to the life service of Mark Higgins, in twin essays in the online magazine Media for Freedom and in the FInnish news magazine OVI in which he reviews Against The Current.  In 1961 Wadlow was the first teacher selected by the Higgins family to serve in Gabon honoring the memory of Mark Higgins.

December 18, 2014 - The Westport News announced publication of Against the Current.

​​On November 14, 2014, this book hit #2 on the Amazon Kindle West African History best seller list.... thank you, readers!

 How Albert Schweitzer Inspired a Young Man's Journey