Free exam copies of Paul Loeb’s classic books on social change.
Great resources to get your students engaged, renew their spirits,
and help them realize the power of their actions.

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

The Impossible Will Take a Little While
Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times
What keeps us going when times get tough, as in the current historical moment? 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. In 2014, after adoption at hundreds of colleges, in every discipline and from first-year common readings to graduate seminars, editor Paul Rogat Loeb comprehensively updated this classic work, which now has 115,000 copies in print. Faculty have been saying it's particularly useful for students at risk of losing their hope in the possibility of change.

Along with 55 contributors, Loeb 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.

The Impossible creates a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our times, or any time, including: Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Václav Havel, Bill Moyers, Howard Zinn, Alice Walker, Mary Pipher, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Tony Kushner, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, 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 (and online classroom study questions) to speak to a time when students need models for hope more than ever.

978-0-465-03173-3 | paperback | 496 pp. | $18.99 | 2014 (Basic Books)
**order an exam copy of The Impossible or Soul today!**

Praise for The Impossible Will Take a Little While

“Might possibly be the most important collection of stories and essays you will ever read.”
—American Book Association & History Channel Top-10 political book list
“I picked The Impossible because it seemed like a handy way to organize a group of readings. The book has been magic! This is the most powerful book I’ve used in my 45-year career teaching about social change.”
—Dan Garvey, President Emeritus, Prescott College

Soul of a Citizen
Living with Conviction in Challenging Times
With 165,000 copies in print, Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen was comprehensively updated in 2010 with smaller subsequent revisions. This book examines how ordinary citizens can make their voices heard and how 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. Assigned on hundreds of campuses and in every discipline, Soul of a Citizen 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.

978-0-312-59537-1 | paperback | 381 pp. | $18.99 | 2010 (St. Martin's Press)
**order an exam copy of Soul or The Impossible today!**

Praise for Soul of a Citizen
“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

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
Paul Rogat Loeb is also the author of Generation at the Crossroads, Hope in Hard Times, and Nuclear Culture. He appears regularly on the Huffington Post 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, a national non-partisan project that helps America’s colleges and universities get as many of their students as possible to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves, and turn out at the polls.

Paul Loeb has lectured at over 400 campuses and keynoted numerous academic conferences.
Click here if you’re interested in inviting him to speak.
For more information on both books, visit
To order your exam copies, complete the online exam copy request form.

Classroom Responses:

“We assigned The Impossible’s new edition to all our 2015 first-year students, with faculty from more disciplines participating than any common read we’ve ever used. The book covers so many approaches to social change, it spurred great classroom discussions on issues like marriage equality, domestic violence, climate change, and democratic participation. Students also applied its message to their personal lives. It helped them realize that change can be achieved by taking small steps to make their world a better place.”
—David Bugg, Dept. of Sociology & Louise Tyo, Student Success Center, SUNY Potsdam
Soul of a Citizen 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
“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
“We had our First Year Seminar students read Soul of a Citizen’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 of a Citizen’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
“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 assigned Soul of a Citizen’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 University
“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
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 of a Citizen 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
“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
“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
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
"We assigned Soul of a Citizen 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 University

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