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The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times Paperback – April 29, 2014


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$16.48 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times + Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times
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Editorial Reviews

Review

History Channel & American Book Association’s #3 political book for 2004
Praise the original edition:

“This 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

“Paul Loeb brings hope for a better world in a time when we so urgently need it.”—Millard Fuller, founder, Habitat for Humanity

“An indispensable anthology of hope and inspiration. Put away your Prozac, and pick up The Impossible Will Take a Little While.”—Arianna Huffington

“Deeply moving and motivating… a retinue to be reckoned with; a plethora of commentary from those dedicated to the concept of a better world”—Baltimore Sun

“Hopeful, inspiring, and motivating... May well be required reading for us all.” —Sierra Club Magazine

“Will resonate with anyone struggling with despair and doubt.”—Dallas Morning News

“A much needed salvo against despair.”—Psychology Today

“For anyone worn down, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is a bracing double cappuccino.”—Barbara Ehrenreich

“A must read”—Teaching Tolerance

“This inspiring collection is such a song of hope in these difficult times.”—Bonnie Raitt

"You are part of what's good about this world and I admire your work very much. This book can even make one hopeful about the future despite so many signs to the contrary."—Bill Moyers

“A magnificent anthology celebrates hope, guts, and the power of taking action…. Loeb 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” —The Oprah Magazine [Lead Review]

“Stunning insights…educational and inspirational.”—Seattle Times

“A stirring collection of essays aimed at people who still want to believe that ordinary people can change the world.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution

“An anthology of some of the most powerful voices of our time.”—Boston Globe

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

“Loeb has been doing wonderfully patient work, exploring the American conscience from the inside. I regard him as something of a national treasure.”—Susan Sontag

“A wonderful book, with some extraordinary folks contributing. It reminds us that darkness always comes before the dawn.”—Reg Weaver, president, National Education Association

“Stop worrying, stop feeling sorry for humanity and read The Impossible Will Take a Little While.”—Chicago Tribune

“A book of essays meant to inspire people.”—Christian Science Monitor

“An extremely important effort.”—John Kenneth Galbraith

“A shot in the arm for all of us who feel withered by crisis and paralyzed with cynicism…Every page sparkles with insight into how the most painful circumstances can drive us to our higher selves.”—San Antonio Express News

“A powerful classroom resource that will help inspire your students to act.” —American Association of Colleges and Universities

“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

“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.”—Steelabor, United Steelworkers of America

“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.” —Vicki Robin, author, Your Money or Your Life

“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.”—The Lutheran

“An intelligent, impressive compendium of ideas and feelings that, if implemented, will lead to a far more civilized society.” —Peter Matthiessen, author The Snow Leopard

“A collection of moving essays and poems on how to maintain optimism in a post 9/11 world.”—Real Simple

“A powerful chorus of hope. Loeb introduces us to a community of heroic individuals who by their actions sustain themselves and can help inspire the rest of us.”—Bill Meadows, president, Wilderness Society

“Captures the way the fight for decency can change people and change circumstances, even when victory is still in the distance.”—Rich Trumka, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO

“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]

“A forceful testimonial to the unique power of hope.” —Denis Hayes, founder Earth Day Network

“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.” —Charles Johnson, National Book Award winner, author of Middle Passage

About the Author

Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen, which has 130,000 copies in print. He appears regularly in the Huffington Post and on national radio and TV and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and AARP Bulletin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Second Edition edition (April 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465031730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465031733
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Friel on May 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let’s face it: the past 15 years have been tough for America. A stolen presidential election, terrorist attacks, two stock market crashes, one resulting in a global financial crisis, elective wars, the futile war on drugs, political gridlock, FOX News, rising inequality, rising healthcare costs, and on and on.

There is no shortage of narratives to explain how we got here. James Howard Kunstler’s is one of my favorites. However, as pessimistic as I am, I think it’s irresponsible for anyone to tell us that social, economic and environmental collapse are inevitable. None of us has a crystal ball.

What we are in short supply of is reason for hope, and that is what Paul Loeb gives us in the timely revised edition of his reader-friendly anthology The Impossible Will Take a Little While. Feeling beyond hope? There’s a whole section on that. Looking for a good quote? The book is full of them. Here’s one from Cornell West: “To live is to wrestle with despair yet never allow despair to have the last word.” Not in the mood for an essay? The book includes great poetry by Rumi, Marge Piercy, W.H. Auden, and many others. And don’t forget to read Paul’s always thoughtful section introductions.

As I write this, the Seattle political establishment has just released a plan - mirabile dictu - for a $15/hour minimum wage. Let’s not give up quite yet. As Paul says, let’s “think of some small way to act” in service of what we believe.

I plan to keep this book on our nightstand, and read it regularly. I suggest you do the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dawood on December 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The most inspiring stories you have ever read. They are all real life stories for many people who suffered a lot but kept the flame of hope. It made me cry many times, and made me smile even more.
I had to buy this book as a requirement for my English 95 class, but after the class has finished, I decided to keep the book within my collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hyundo Jang on November 6, 2014
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This book has a lot of inspiring and beautiful stories. This is going to be my all-time-favorite book, ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written, slightly preachy (as expected) but - most of all - the shot of optimism that feeds the soul.
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A lot of people today are suffering from "well-informed futility" syndrome. They understand there are big problems in the world but feel helpless to make a dent. This book is an antidote. It gives realistic but inspiring examples of people who have made a difference.

One thing I really liked and think is very important is that it makes it clear a lot of good is done by ordinary people. You don't need to be Nelson Mandela. And, even the great ones rely on a lot of support from others.

Also, progress often comes unexpectedly -- but after a lot of preparatory work.

So, it is important for each of us to do what we can. This book is a good inspiration to do so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By April Montagne on March 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always liked this book,and the 2014 updated edition does not disappoint.
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