Faculty Flier

SUBJECT: Exam copies of revised civic engagement classics The Impossible Will Take a Little While & Soul of a Citizen


"The Impossible might possibly be the most important collection of stories and essays you will ever read." --American Book Association & The History Channel

"When my daughter asked from college how to be an effective grassroots citizen, I gave her Paul's books." --Josette Sheeran, former Executive Director, United Nations World Food Program

If you teach a relevant course or supervise a program where these books might be assigned, click here for your free exam copy.

What keeps us going when times get tough? How have the leaders and unsung heroes of world-changing political movements persevered in the face of cynicism, fear, and seemingly overwhelming odds? In The Impossible Will Take a Little While, they tell us in their own words. After 22 printings and adoption at hundreds of colleges, in every discipline and from first-year common readings to graduate seminars, editor Paul Rogat Loeb has comprehensively updated the book. It explores what it's like to go up against Goliath, whether South African apartheid, the dictatorships of Mubarak's Egypt or Communist Eastern Europe, racial or sexual prejudice in America, or the corporations driving escalating climate change. These stories don't sugarcoat the obstacles. But they inspire hope by showing what keeps us keeping on.

With 115,000 copies in print, The Impossible creates a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our times, or any time: Think Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Vaclav Havel, Bill Moyers, and Howard Zinn. Alice Walker, Mary Pipher, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Tony Kushner, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, and Marian Wright Edelman. Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, Pablo Neruda, Audre Lorde, and Desmond Tutu. Loeb has added powerful new essays, worked with existing authors to update
their contributions, and updated his own introductions to speak to a time when students need models for hope more than ever. Wholly updated 2014 edition, Basic Books, 483 pages, $18.99, www.theimpossible.org. See classroom responses and updated classroom study questions at www.paulloeb.org/impossible-classroom.html

"We assigned The Impossible as a common reading across the curriculum: sociology, English, speech, political science, digital arts, nursing, even some chemistry and art courses. Students found the book completely inspiring." --Lori Halverson-Wente, Speech Communications, Rochester Community & Technical College, Rochester, MN

“I picked your book The Impossible because it seemed like a handy way to organize a group of readings. The book has been magic! Thank you so much for taking the time to find and assemble these writings. This is the most powerful book I've used in my 45 year career teaching about social change. –Dan Garvey, President Emeritus, Prescott College, Prescott, AZ

With 165,000 copies in print, Loeb's Soul of a Citizen was comprehensively updated in 2010, with smaller revisions since. Soul examines how ordinary citizens can make their voices heard and actions count in a time when we're told neither matter. It looks at how people get involved in larger community issues and what stops them from getting involved; how they burn out in exhaustion or maintain their commitment for the long haul; how involvement can give them a powerful sense of connection and purpose, even when the road is difficult. Similarly assigned on hundreds of campuses and in every discipline, Soul has helped students of all backgrounds and political perspectives learn to make a difference--and begin journeys of involvement that may last their entire lives. St Martin's Press, 381 pages, $17.99. See www.soulofacitizen.org or www.paulloeb.org/soul-classroom.html for classroom responses and study questions.

Visit here for your free academic exam copies.

See www.paulloeb.org for more information.

"For young people working to make a difference, this kind of first-person inspiration is invaluable."
--Jackie Schmidt Posner, director of Public Service Education, Haas Center, Stanford University

Paul Rogat Loeb is also the author of Generation at the Crossroads, Hope in Hard Times, and Nuclear Culture. He appears regularly on HuffingtonPost and on national radio and TV, and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Christian Science Monitor. He founded the national nonpartisan Campus Election Engagement Project that worked with over 400 campuses in 2018 to get students involved and is now engaging them in the 2019-2020 cycle. He's also lectured at over 400 campuses and keynoted numerous academic conferences.

Visit https://paulloeb.org/lectures if you're interested in inviting Paul to speak.

And again, visit here for your free academic exam copies.

"Soul was the common reader for over 2,500 students enrolled in our first-year seminar. It introduced them to active community engagement, inspired countless service learning and advocacy projects (from literacy programs to a gay rights effort and an NRA-backed concealed weapons initiative), and strengthened their campus and community connections." --Jim Davis, chair first-year book committee, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

"I've used The Impossible in service-learning classes for student athletes at the University of Central Florida and with minor league players of the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. The athletes loved the book and the readings provide a meaningful context to understand how they can use the power
and appeal of sport to effect meaningful social change." --Richard Astro, Chief Academic Officer, National Consortium for Academics and Sports

"We had our First Year Seminar students read Soul's new edition and then work in small-group service projects. Loeb's book inspired them to come up with some wonderful ideas, from river clean-ups and educational efforts around female body image to working with local food banks and examining state tax policies. Soul's stories really resonated with the students, demonstrating to them that you don’t have to be perfect to take a stand. We also had terrific conversations when we brought Loeb in to speak." --Lisa Tetzloff, Director of Student Life, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

"The students in my Principles of Engagement class love your book. As one of them wrote, 'To begin with I hate reading. I can honestly say I’ve gone through school not reading a single lengthy book. When Robert assigned Soul of a Citizen, I was skeptical. The first thought that came to mind was 'how many pages is it?' Little did I know, this book was going to reinvent my way of thinking. Soul of a Citizen is the most enlightening and inspiring book I’ve ever read. The book created a foundation, and in my eyes, it can be referred to as the Bible for civic engagement. "—Robert Shumer, Director Center for Community Based Learning, Metropolitan State University, St Paul, MN

"My first-year seminar students thoroughly enjoyed the pieces they read from The Impossible. My colleague and I were extremely pleased with the success of the theme, 'The Literature of Hope.'"
--Carmen Werder, First-Year Programs, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

"We assigned Soul's new edition to the students in our ACCESS summer bridge programs. Some of these students had never really read a book aside from textbooks, but they responded wonderfully. As the director of this program for 15 years, I have never had a 'common reading' that had the impact of Soul. It energized these students by showing them that they could use their interests, talents and education to make real change in their world." --Lettie Raab, Director, ACCESS program, Prairie View A&M, Prairie View, Texas

"I use The Impossible in my introductory U.S. and California government classes to help students understand that politics is made up of living, breathing people, not just a bunch of abstractions. Students read the chapters, then write briefly about them and break up into pairs to discuss what they wrote. The students really seem to 'get' the readings--the idea that activists don’t have to be saints comes through very effectively." --Brian Lawson, Social Sciences, Santa Monica Community College
& Cal State, Dominguez Hills

“We used The Impossible in a leadership book group that brought together honors program students, faculty and staff. Each person had a 'favorite essay' that really spoke to them in a unique way. For one it was ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.’ Reading that essay while other Martin Luther King events were going on really strengthened the message. Another had visited Robben Island two summers before—the essay by Nelson Mandela made a strong personal impact. For another, Havel's essay was the most meaningful. Being in a group where we could share experiences and thoughts about the readings helped significantly. It's a great collection of powerful essays."--Kate Bruce, Dept of Psychology, Honors Program Director, University of North Carolina Wilmington

"The Impossible has long been the basic text for our Interdisciplinary Core Senior Seminar. Our students love this book and tell me it is one of the few texts they will keep after graduation. We've also used Soul in our Foundations of Civic Engagement course for many years. Paul Loeb is a household name on our campus." --Maria Roca, Department of Communication, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL

"I gave copies of The Impossible Will Take A Little While to every one of my graduates this year. They really love Paul's work."--Steve Chase, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch New England Graduate School

"Studying the causes and consequences of social problems can be very challenging, so it's essential to offer examples of hope and courage. The Impossible inspires our students by exploring how we can create community, nourish our spirits, and make a difference through actions, large and small."
-- Kim Smith, Department of Sociology, Portland Community College, Portland, OR

"The Impossible has been a fantastic addition to 'Contemporary World in Perspective,' an option in our humanities core." --Elizabeth Clark, Dept of History, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas

"We assigned Soul to all our First Year Experience students, and as a core text for our psychology internship. It helps students to think beyond their own lives--personally and professionally--and to engage with a larger world, feeling that their actions can matter. They've really loved the book." --Christine Olson, Faculty Civic Engagement Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota State, Marshall, MN

“I’m using The Impossible in a graduate public affairs course on social justice and social activism. Since the students have already done a year or more of post-graduate volunteer work, e.g. Peace Corps, Americorps, Public Allies, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, they have a heightened awareness of injustice. As we examine major movements of social action from the peace movement to the civil rights movement, the readings in "Impossible" provide a sense of promise and hope. My students have been inspired by the readings, which are helping them to believe they can be an active part of making the impossible happen. Thanks."--Susan Mountin, Dept of Theology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

“I taught the book in a general studies class called Freedom and Authority. The students really enjoyed it. As one said, ‘the articles were inspiring and reminded me why I care about social justice."--Amanda Udis-Kessler, Dept of Women’s Studies, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

Again, if you teach a relevant course or supervise a program where these books might be assigned, you can get free academic exam copies of their updated editions.

Visit http://paulloeb.org/exam-copies for your free academic exam copies.

You can also buy Paul's books directly if you're interested but don't teach a relevant course.
Visit https://paulloeb.org/purchase-these-books/

Please forward to colleagues who might be interested in Paul's books or inviting him to speak.

Share this page.