Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values
James A. Joseph is Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Public Policy at Duke University. Joseph served as the United States Ambassador to South Africa from 1996 to 2000, and as the Under Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior from 1977 to 1981. He was the President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, Vice President of the Cummins Engine Company, and served as Chaplain of the Claremont Colleges. He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Order of Good Hope, South Africa’s highest award to a citizen of a foreign country. Joseph is also the author of Leadership as a Way of Being, Remaking America: How the Benevolent Traditions of Many Cultures are Transforming Our National Life, and The Charitable Impulse: Wealth and Social Conscience in Communities and Cultures Outside the United States.
Prologue: A Plane Crash in the South Pacific
This chapter begins with the author’s reflections on the morning after his rescue from a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. It tells the story of a trip to the South Pacific to meet with Micronesians who had been displaced from the Bikini Atoll because of nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s by the U.S. military. The soil was still radioactive, but the elders voted unanimously to return to Bikini to die in the land of their ancestors. The visit to Bikini to ensure that the former island residents fully understood the moral dilemma posed by their decision ended with a narrow escape from death for the Washington visitors and the loss of life for two members of the U.S. Navy.