BUSHELS AND BALES: A Food Soldier in the Cold War

Howard L. Steele
Vellum, 2008
414 Pages, 28 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9800814-9-7 Paperback

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About the Author

Howard L. Steele served from 1971 to 1997 as a development economist in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service and its predecessor agencies in 43 mostly developing countries. A native of Pennsylvania, Steele spent ten years in the dairy processing industry in the Midwest, taught at Penn State, Clemson, and Ohio State universities and the University of Maryland’s University College. Steele has a PhD from the University of Kentucky in Agricultural Economics. He is the author of many books in economics, agriculture, and biography. He and his wife Elaine live in Fairfax, Virginia.

About the book

Take one Pennsylvania-born, university-trained development economist, mix with the people, problems, and opportunities of 43 countries, stir in a variety of U.S. government programs, and you can learn a lot. Howard Steele certainly did, and survived gun-toting Bolivian revolutionaries, Viet Cong mortar and rifle fire, deadly anarchy in Sri Lanka, a shakedown by Tanzanian police, Taiwanese cockroaches the size of kittens, and sheep’s eye stew in Saudi Arabia. Marriage survival was more difficult.

As Steele advanced from midlevel technician to a senior rank U.S. representative, he at times had to battle his own government and navigate its bureaucracy, just as he did with dozens of overseas regimes and their national cultures. From Brazil, just after its 1964 revolution, to Switzerland in 1995—with assignments in South Vietnam, Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Nepal, among numerous others along the way—Steele recounts his service on six continents in a 34-year career. He tells it as it happened, no partisan spin, all authentic, on-the-scene detail. Poverty and prosperity, fear and fun, mistakes, corruption, incompetence, language and cultural glitches, and developmental successes are all here.

This is a book in the ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series.

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