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The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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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.”
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Top customer reviews
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.
There are a number of inspirational and pragmatic lessons to take from this book - but perhaps the best of the lot is the idea that allowing - and indeed, cultivating and encouraging - audacious imagination into our lives and our work is essential to creating progress and lasting change. I highly recommend this book to everyone working for change, and, indeed, anyone whose sense of optimism has been eroded by a culture of naysayers and cynics.
But, to read about how these scientists are getting worked up over extracting mosquito saliva is somehow very inspiring and exciting. Shore's words echo the great Buckminster Fuller (creator of the Geodesic Dome) leaving you thinking, "Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it can't be."
I highly recommend this book to anybody seeking inspiration. Sometimes, the will to act is your biggest asset.