Paul Loeb's Biography

Paul Loeb has spent forty-five years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment--asking what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain.

He has written five widely praised books, lectured to enthusiastic responses at 500 colleges and universities around the country--including Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Michigan, MIT, Yale, Cornell, Wisconsin, and Columbia--and been a lead speaker at numerous conferences including the National Education Association, American Society on Aging, national Points of Light conference, Education Commission of the States, National Youth Leadership Council, American College Personnel Association, Campus Compact’s Presidential Summit, the American Association of Colleges & Universities, a national conference on race and ethnicity on campus, the company meeting of Patagonia Corp., the Unitarian General Assembly, and TedX conferences in Calgary Alberta and Athens, Greece. Loeb was the first speaker chosen for a New School lecture series called Engaged Lives, "in which exceptional graduates of our programs will share their stories."

In 2008 Loeb founded and coordinated the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort which helps colleges and universities engage their students with the election. By time Paul left to return to writing in 2020 the project was working with over 600 schools with a total enrollment of 6.4 million students. The US Department of Education invited him as a participant in their 2011 roundtable on promoting civic engagement in higher education.

Born in California in l952, Loeb attended Stanford University and New York's New School for Social Research, and worked in both places to end the Vietnam War. Loeb has written for a range of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, AARP Bulletin, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Psychology Today, Christian Science Monitor, Chronicle of Higher Education, InsideHigherEd, The Nation, Village Voice, Huffington Post, Utne Reader, Redbook, Parents Magazine, Mother Jones, Sojourners, Technology Review, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baltimore Sun, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit News, San Francisco Chronicle, St Louis Post-Dispatch, Tampa Tribune, Academe, National Catholic Reporter, Teaching Tolerance, Inside Higher Ed, Salon, International Herald Tribune, and Knight-Ridder News Service.

Loeb's first book, NUCLEAR CULTURE (New Society Publishers), explored the daily world of atomic weapons workers in Hanford, Washington. HOPE IN HARD TIMES (Lexington Books) examined the lives and visions of ordinary Americans involved in grass roots peace activism. GENERATION AT THE CROSSROADS: APATHY AND ACTION ON THE AMERICAN CAMPUS (Rutgers University Press) explored the values and choices of American college students. His anthology on political hope,THE IMPOSSIBLE WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE, was published in 2004 by Basic Books named the #3 political book of that year by the History Channel and the American Book Association, and won the Nautilus Award for best social change book of the year, and now has over 115,000 copies in print, including an updated 2014 edition. Paul's SOUL OF A CITIZEN: LIVING WITH CONVICTION IN A CYNICAL TIME (St Martin's Press), looks at what it takes to lead lives of social commitment despite all the obstacles, won the Nautilus Award for its new edition, and has 165,000 copies in print. When Georgia's Kennesaw State University made Soul of a Citizen their common first-year reading, it inspired students to get involved in projects from literacy programs to a gay rights effort and an NRA-backed concealed weapons initiative.

Because Loeb's work offers uniquely intimate perspectives on the fundamental questions of our time, it has sparked widespread attention. His writing has been covered by the Associated Press and United Press International, cited in Congressional debates, and praised, quoted, and discussed in an array of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The Economist, Los Angeles Times, Harper's, New York Review of Books, Christian Science Monitor, Psychology Today, The Oprah magazine, Parents Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, London Sunday Times, Manchester Guardian, Family Circle, Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Weekend, Teen, Modern Maturity, Newsday, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Columbus Dispatch, Boston Herald, New Age, Christian Century, Commonweal, Teacher Magazine, Sojourners, Progressive, Houston Chronicle, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, Seattle Times, Greenpeace, Toronto Globe and Mail, Daily Age [of Melbourne, Australia], Baltimore Sun, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Rocky Mountain News, Mother Jones, Academe, Contemporary Sociology, National Catholic Reporter, and The Atlantic.

Loeb has also done over 1,000 TV and radio interviews, including nationwide appearances on TV networks like NBC, CNN, PBS, Fox, and C-Span, National Public Radio, the BBC, the ABC, NBC, and CBS radio networks, American Urban Radio, Voice of America, and national German, Australian, and Canadian radio. Loeb is also a featured commentator in the film Every Three Seconds, by Oscar shortlisted documentarian Daniel Karslake.

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