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The Impossible

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The Impossible: Comments & Reviews



Named the #3 political book for 2004 by the History Channel and The American Book Association

Picked as the Nov/Dec 2004 selection for the Sierra Club reading group program

Excerpted in The Nation, Sojourners, Catholic Digest, Worldwatch and The Sun

Named one of top spiritual books of 2004 by Spirituality & Health

Selected by Quality Paperback, One Spirit & InsightOut book clubs
An American Book Association BookSense bestseller


"Paul Loeb brings hope for a better world in a time when we so urgently need it."

"Hopeful, inspiring, and motivating...May well be required reading for us all.”

Sierra Club magazine


"This might possibly be the most important collection of stories and essays you will ever read. The 50 selections in this book are truly an ennobling experience, reminding us, in the words of Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, that 'to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is in itself a marvelous victory.'"

—from American Book Association and History Channel listing of top ten 2004 political books


"Deeply moving and motivating… a plethora of commentary from those dedicated to the concept of a better world”

—Baltimore Sun

"A must read"
—Teaching Tolerance

"A much needed salvo against despair."


"A stirring collection of essays aimed at people who still want to believe that ordinary people can change the world.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution


"A magnificent anthology celebrates hope, guts, and the power of taking action….Paul Rogat Loeb has done us a great favor. In his new book The Impossible Will Take a Little While, he has compiled for us the words of 49 of the most gifted and heroic men and women of our time, 49 testimonials to stamina and compassion in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, 49 reasons to keep hope alive in this time of frustration and fear, 49 ways to take action..."


"Think of this as a devotional for those who subscribe to the theology of liberation and social justice…Will resonate

with anyone struggling with despair and doubt."
Dallas Morning News


"This inspiring collection is such a song of hope in these difficult times."


 "Stop worrying, stop feeling sorry for humanity and read 'The Impossible Will Take a Little While.'”


"An extremely important effort."


"Stunning insights…educational and inspirational."Seattle Times


"For anyone worn down by Bushism, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is a bracing double cappuccino!"


"A wonderful book, with some extraordinary folks contributing. It reminds us that darkness always comes before the dawn.  We live in a critical time, in an unpredictable world, but knowing that remarkable changes occur between night and day gives us unexplainable hope."

Reg Weaver, president, National Education Association


"An anthology of some of the most powerful voices of our time."

Boston Globe


"A collection of moving essays and poems on how to maintain optimism in a post 9/11 world."

Real Simple


"An intelligent, impressive compendium of ideas and feelings that, if implemented, will lead to a far more civilized society."

"As I read these stories, I am reminded yet again of the incredible power we have as individuals and the multiplication of that power when we come together. Thank you for this book of inspiring writing."


Paul Rogat Loeb has put together a soul-stirring anthology which we guarantee will lift the spirits of anyone looking for reasons to carry on in the struggle to create a better world.…A true hope booster.


"A book of essays meant to inspire people.”

"An indispensable anthology of hope and inspiration. It's impossible to feel pessimistic after basking in the collective wisdom of the likes of Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Marian Wright Edelman, Alice Walker, Tony Kushner and Cornel West (and that's just for starters!). This book is also Exhibit A in how the political and the personal can come together to change the world. Put away your Prozac and pick up The Impossible Will Take a Little While"


"[Shows that] with patience, resilience, persistence and, most of all, hope, we all can put our talents to use."


"Refreshingly empowering, healing, and amazingly inspirational. It touches the imagination, retrieves the faith, and is desperately needed by our country to provoke new hope and meaning. It is a glass half full for the cynic and the fearful, a compilation of vision for the complacent, and an antidote for the despondent—truly a must read for everyone.”

"Reading this hymnbook of hope, one's heart cannot help but sing. I am moved and inspired by this magnificent book's rich stories and insights. They water the fragile, precious seed of hope, from which everything we love grows."

"A compilation of 49 essays, excerpts and exclamations from a wide range of people who have found hope despite all evidence to the contrary.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An impressive lineup… [Explains] how and why to keep up the good fight - for whatever purpose - in the face of ridicule, violence, despair, bad odds, and/or unfavorable election results."—Capitol Times [Madison, WI]

"Just what the doctor ordered for these depressing times: a massive infusion of hope, written in the clearest and most inspiring prose. Do your soul a favor and read this book."

"Paul Loeb takes voices from our human experience and turns them into a powerful chorus of hope. No matter how powerless we feel, simply answering the call to participate gives us strength to change the world. Loeb introduces us to a community of heroic individuals who by their actions sustain themselves and can help inspire the rest of us. We gain courage knowing this community exists, acting at what Seamus Heaney calls the meeting point of hope and history, where what has happened is met by what we make of it."

"Paul Loeb's new book captures the way the fight for decency can change people and change circumstances, even when victory is still in the distance."

"Inspirational…I pick and choose and savor my way through it."—


"These essays reflect Loeb’s keen eye for the subtle connection between the spiritual quest and the imperative of social justice, and embody the very fearlessness they aim to inspire."—

"Powerful voices"—

"A feast of inspiration to help people keep working for justice"

"Reminds us beautifully of the hope that comes from the capacity of human beings to resist and persevere against not only personal hardship, but the most far-reaching social injustice and adversity."

"After reading the indomitable Mandela and Havel, John Lewis and Sherman Alexie, I was filled with new vigor. This collection is a forceful testimonial to the unique power of hope. Success is literally impossible unless you have hope. And for readers who know their Darwin, it offers a quiet reminder that pessimism has no survival value."

"Loeb challenges us to do what needs to be done...a well-timed effort to inspire the young and recharge the weary"Hope Magazine


"A book for the ravenous, and it delivers with a broad and international array of writers, celebrated and unknown. My suggestion, however, is not to read the book passively, expecting inspiration on a platter. Read it with anger, even desperation — read it in your own personal crucible of frustration over 9/11, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, humanity’s spreading infection of violence and hate. It is in this crucible, I believe, that Mandela’s words, and those of the other writers, whose wisdom is born of suffering and struggle, begin to glow. Hope becomes a vision of a humane future that is already under way."—Robert Koehler, Tribune Media Services

"Everyone who believes in our humanity and the ideal of justice for all, but feels despair by the direction the world has taken since 9/11, will find their faith in our ability to serve the common good restored by Paul Loeb's symphony of powerful voices."



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