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The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria Hardcover – November 9, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With over 25 years at the helm of Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to eliminating childhood hunger, Shore can be considered something of an expert on social entrepreneurs. Defined as people determined to make nonprofit organizations self-sustaining by creating markets for their goods and services, social entrepreneurs are resetting the boundaries of what once were thought of as charities. Like their business counterparts, social entrepreneurs possess great imagination plus the indomitable, never-say-die spirit necessary to achieve what heretofore had been unattainable. Shore’s prime example is scientist/physician/researcher/visionary Stephen Hoffman, who bears every mark of someone who can succeed where no one else has. Hoffman, honcho at Sanaria Laboratory in Rockville, Maryland, is this close to perfecting a vaccine that promises to virtually eliminate malaria, a disease that infects an estimated 500 million people per year, and kills upwards of 3,000 children a day. Shore spares no superlatives in describing Hoffman, his work, and that of his counterparts in this worthy chronicle. --Donna Chavez


Richard Russo,Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls
“Bill Shore’s The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men is all about links, often invisible, between science and compassion, imagination and reason, philanthropy and markets, competition and cooperation. It’s also about solving some of the world’s most intractable problems—intractable, Shore argues passionately and convincingly, because all but a few of us too readily accept the conventional wisdom that they are unsolvable. It is, in other words, a necessary book.”

David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
“Bill Shore provides fascinating insights into the journeys of two wonderful men trying to change the world—one a scientist and the other the author himself. Both lives show that character, ambition, imagination, and the stubborn conviction that good is not good enough are indispensable to every leader seeking higher ground.”

Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2010
“An upbeat account of several American scientists researching malaria prevention.. Mr. Shore tells his story well.”


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586487647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586487645
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,667,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book having read a couple of other books by Bill Shore (The Cathedral Within and The Light of Conscience). His two previous books were both readable and inspiring...and this latest was just as good. Shore's stories about some incredibly persistent and unrelenting scientific inquiry is backdrop for a bigger theme about what it takes to actually solve global social issues. The picture he paints of one of these scientists spending his time extracting material out of thousands of individual mosquitoes and going against the entire scientific establishment has stayed with me. Malaria has stuck around despite a lot of money and time going toward eradicating or controlling it. It would be easy to become jaded about the possibilities of putting an end to the scourge. Instead, Shore shows us a path toward a solution - and a way to think about other difficult social problems. I ran through this book in a day and felt both entertained and inspired.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An extraordinarily inspiring new book about possibility and courage told through the lens of one brave, disruptive soul's odyssey to create a vaccine for malaria.

The book is not just a treatise on malaria. It's an antidote to cynicism and despair, no matter where or how it might creep into our lives or our thinking. It is a forensic expose of all of those sinister and cunning things that try to suffocate our idealism, both from the outside and within - skepticism, doubt, distrust, suspicion, disbelief, pessimism,negativity, weariness and disenchantment.

In a culture that emphasizes fear and impossibility, here is an anthem that sings that all things are possible. It reminds us that if we are daring, failing, stumbling, falling, getting back up, and challenging the status quo, then we are really living. It's the opposite of the cover-your-ass, play-it-safe, the-sky-is-falling dirge the culture would have us humming.

Every once and a while people like Billy come along and remind us that life is miraculous if you want it to be. Thank God for them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Shore tells a fascinating story of a diverse group of scientists approaching the "killer" problem that is malaria, a problem made the more difficult because it does not offer the high profits potential of many other drugs. While the military and travelers are interested, the primary market is poor countries, particularly in Africa, presenting challenges for distributing any vaccine or other solution. Shore uses scientist Steve Hoffman as a focal point for his theme that it takes imagination, and an unwillingness to see what many would perceive as dead ends, to solve a problem that is both scientific and economic. The analogies that Shore draws throughout the book between the work of Steve Hoffman and other scientists and solving other social problems which market forces haven't supported are thought provoking. Shore's core theme of thinking beyond the box - thinking about tackling the problem on a completely different playing field than it has been tackled before, is inspirational and has remained with me as I think about the book.
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