Paul Rogat Loeb
The Impossible Will Take a Little While
Soul of a Citizen
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"Paul Loeb brings hope for a better world in a time when we so urgently need it."
—Millard Fuller, founder, Habitat for Humanity
"The voices Loeb finds demonstrate that courage can be another name for
"You are part of
what's good about this world and I admire your work very much."
"Paul Loeb has been doing wonderfully patient work, exploring
the American conscience from the inside. I regard Loeb as something of a national
"A lot of smart people who have some influence on the course of history will read and admire you--and learn from you."
"I stayed up half the night reading Soul of a Citizen, finding it a beautiful and
morally transcendent work that speaks in gentle words directly to the heart. The new edition is magnificent. "
— Jonathan Kozol
In 2010, St. Martin's Press released a wholly updated new edition of Paul Rogat Loeb's citizen involvement book, Soul Of a Citizen: Living With Conviction In Challenging Times. With 145,000 copies in print, Soul has become a classic handbook for budding social activists, veteran organizers, and anyone who wants to make a difference—large or small. An antidote to powerlessness and despair, it has inspired thousands of citizens to make their voices heard and actions count—and then stay involved for the long haul. Soul explores what leads
some people to get involved in larger community issues while others feel
overwhelmed or uncertain; what it takes to maintain commitment for the
long haul; and how community involvement and citizen activism can give
back a powerful sense of connection and purpose.
It speaks speak particularly to how to keep engaged despite dashed hopes and disilusionment. Click here for Soul's description, sample sections, and wonderful reviews,
as well as information on classroom use.
Paul's previous book is The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books, 2004), named by The History Channel and The American Book
Association as their #3 political book of 2004. A global anthology on political hope, it creates a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our time: Think Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy, Tony Kushner, Václav Havel, Pablo Neruda, and Howard Zinn. Alice Walker, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Susan Griffin, and Marian Wright Edelman. Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Hightower, and Desmond Tutu. With this book Loeb explores what it's like to go up against Goliath, whether South African apartheid, the iron fist of Eastern European dictatorship, or Mississippi segregation. The stories he collects don't sugarcoat the obstacles. But they inspire hope by showing what keeps us keeping on--even when the odds seem overwhelming. They replenish the wellsprings of our commitment. The Impossible is also a BookSense bestseller
with 70,000 in print and, like Soul, won the Nautilus Award for the best social
change book. Click here for a description,
excerpts, rave reviews, and information on The Impossible's own wonderful responses in the classroom.
Paul is also the founder of the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help colleges and universities engage their students in choosing the elected leaders who will represent them. The project worked with 500 campuses in 2008 and 750 in 2012.
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COMMENTS ON SOUL OF A CITIZEN
"A passionate but reasoned call for Americans to become involved in issues that matter."
"Soul of a Citizen has inspired countless students, faculty, and other readers since its publication a decade ago. Amazing as that book was, this new version is even wiser, deeper, and more inspiring. Loeb has given even more soul to his wonderful work."
—Thomas Ehrlich, former president Indiana University and Dean of Stanford Law School
"Brims with stirring stories of everyday heroes who saw something wrong,
heeded the voice of their conscience, gathered support and, acting in
concert with others, changed things and made a difference."
"Soul has been a powerful inspiration to citizens acting for environmental sanity, showing how they can take committed stands, even if they don’t know every last answer. The new edition is even more inspirational."
"Rich, engaging, clearly written. An essential book for anyone who wants to work for change. It will inspire people new to activism, and deals with cynicism and burnout in a good way for movement veterans. Altogether, a wonderful job, rich with specific experience."
"Soul of a Citizen helps us find the faith we need to act on our deepest
beliefs — and keep on."
— Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund
COMMENTS ON THE IMPOSSIBLE WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE
"Deeply moving and motivating…a plethora of commentary from those
dedicated to the concept of a better world"
"This might possibly be the most important collection of stories and
essays you will ever read."
—from American Book Association and History Channel listing of top ten
2004 political books
"Hopeful, inspiring, and motivating...May well be required reading for us all.”
—Sierra Club magazine
"[This] magnificent anthology celebrates hope, guts, and the power of
—Pam Houston, The Oprah Magazine, lead review
"A much needed salvo against despair."
"An anthology of some of the most powerful voices of our time."
"For anyone worn down, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is
a bracing double cappuccino!"
— Barbara Ehrenreich
PAUL ROGAT LOEB is the
author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times (St Martin's Press
1999 and 2010, now with 145,000 copies in print), The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide
to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books, 2004, and named the #3 political book of that year by the History Channel and the American Book Association), Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus (Rutgers University Press, 1994), Nuclear Culture, and Hope in Hard Times. Both The Impossible and Soul won the Nautilus Award for best social change books of their respective publication years. Paul has written on social involvement for The New York Times,
Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, AARP Bulletin, Boston Globe, Psychology Today,
Utne Reader, Redbook, Parents magazine,
Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones,
Salon, the Village Voice, National Catholic Reporter,
Chronicle of Higher Education, and the International Herald Tribune.
He's been interviewed on CNN, NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, NBC TV, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,
American Urban Radio, Voice of America, and national German and Australian radio. He's
lectured on 400 college campuses and at numerous national and international conferences. In 2008 Loeb founded the Campus Election Engagement Project, helping 500 colleges and
universities engage their students in the election, and worked with 750 campuses in or 2012. Loeb also participated in the Department of Education's 2011 roundtable on higher education and civic engagement and blogs regularly at HuffingtonPost. When Georgia's Kennesaw State University made Soul of a Citizen their common first-yearreading, it inspired students to get involved in projects from literacy programs to a gay rights effort and an NRA-backed concealed weapons initiative.
Click here for a longer bio.
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