The Impossible Will Take a Little While

A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear


By Paul Rogat Loeb

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More relevant than ever, this seminal collection of essays encourages us to believe in the power of ordinary citizens to change the world

In today’s turbulent world it’s hard not to feel like we’re going backwards; after decades of striving, justice and equality still seem like far off goals. What keeps us going when times get tough? 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 answer these questions in their own words, creating a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our times. Today, more than ever, we need their words and their wisdom.

In this revised edition, Paul Rogat Loeb has comprehensively updated this classic work on what it’s like to go up against Goliath — whether South African apartheid, Mississippi segregation, Middle East dictatorships, or the corporations driving global climate change. Without sugarcoating the obstacles, these stories inspire hope to keep moving forward.

Think of this book as a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our times — or any time: Contributors include Maya Angelou, Diane Ackerman, Marian Wright Edelman, Wael Ghonim, Váav Havel, Paul Hawken, Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Kozol, Tony Kushner, Audre Lorde, Nelson Mandela, Bill McKibben, Bill Moyers, Pablo Neruda, Mary Pipher, Arundhati Roy, Dan Savage, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, and Howard Zinn.



I once heard Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at a Los Angeles benefit for a South African project. He’d been fighting prostate cancer, was tired that evening, and had taken a nap before his talk. But when Tutu addressed the audience he became animated, expressing amazement that his native country, with its shameful history of racial oppression, had been chosen by God to provide the world with an unforgettable lesson in reconciliation and hope. Afterward, a few other people spoke, then a band from East L.A. took the stage and launched into an irresistibly rhythmic tune. People started moving to the music. Suddenly I noticed Tutu dancing away in the middle of the crowd. I’d never seen a Nobel Peace Prize winner, much less one with a potentially fatal illness, move with such joy and abandon. Tutu, I realized, knows how to have a good time. Indeed, it dawned on me that his ability to recognize and embrace life’s pleasures helps him face its cruelties and disappointments, whether personal or political.

Few of us will ever match Tutu’s achievements. But we’d do well to learn from someone who spent years challenging apartheid’s brutal system of human degradation, has continued to speak out for justice since then, and yet remains lighthearted and free from bitterness. What allowed Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and untold numbers of unheralded South Africans to find the vision, strength, and courage to persist until apartheid finally crumbled? How did they manage to choose forgiveness over retribution while bringing to justice the administrators and executioners of that system? What similar strengths of spirit drove those who challenged entrenched racial segregation in the United States, or the dictatorships of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Egypt, and Tunisia? What now enables ordinary citizens to continue working to heal their communities and to strive for a more humane world, despite the perennial obstacles, the frequent setbacks?

We live in a time fraught with bad news. More than one in five children in America lives in poverty, and our country’s economic inequality, the most extreme in the developed world, has grown to levels not seen in a hundred years. Our political system seems broken, captive to the greediest and most cynical. Almost every week brings an off-the-charts flood, drought, ice storm, hurricane, or forest fire, while scientists make clear that such events will continue to spiral out of control unless we address global climate change. Yet day-to-day demands of work, school, and family take so much of our attention that it’s hard for us to engage such potentially overwhelming realities. Merely thinking about them is to flirt with despair.

And no one is immune, not even those whose occupations or passions directly involve helping others or bringing about constructive social change. For years, I’ve traveled throughout the country, lecturing to campus and community groups. Almost everywhere, I encounter people doing important work who nonetheless question whether their actions still matter, whether it’s worthwhile to keep making the effort. I’ve heard this refrain from teachers struggling to help their students learn in crumbling inner-city classrooms; from nurses and doctors trying to deliver quality medical services while navigating bureaucratic mazes; from Chamber of Commerce members attempting to save small rural towns from going under; from eighteen-year-old students and eighty-year-old grandmothers.

Hope may actually be more beleaguered in the wake of a president who won the office in part by branding himself with it. Think of the once-omnipresent posters and stickers in which Obama’s stylized portrait, as rendered by artist Shepard Fairey, appeared above the word HOPE. Too many of Obama’s supporters expected him to live up to this iconic image; when his presidency didn’t instantly transform American politics and key campaign promises remained unfulfilled, they retreated into demoralized withdrawal. We can debate how much the resulting spiral of disappointment was due to unrealistic expectations, Obama’s shortcomings, the tenacity of his opponents, America’s broken political structures, or the failure of Obama supporters to stay engaged following his initial election. But however we assess this particular president, the roller coaster of raised and dashed expectations has led many of us to conclude that political participation is a rigged and futile game.

Moments of doubt are inevitable, especially in a culture that embraces cynicism and mocks idealism as a fool’s errand. But if we look at life through a historical lens, we find that the proverbial rock can be rolled, if not to the top of the mountain, then at least to successive plateaus. Indeed, simply pushing the rock in the right direction is cause for celebration. History also shows that even seemingly miraculous advances are in fact the result of many people taking small steps together over a long period of time. For every Desmond Tutu, there are thousands of anonymous men and women who have been equally principled, equally resolute in the same causes. Having over the years drawn inspiration from many of their stories, as well as from those of people whose names are more familiar, I created this book to invite readers to join a community of courageous souls stretching across the globe and extending backward and forward in time.

The writers assembled here have helped me maintain the belief that striving for a more humane world is worth the effort. Again and again, they’ve satisfied my hunger for hope and rescued me from despair. It’s my wish that their example will similarly inspire you to take up the essential work of healing our communities, our nation, our planet—and to persist during a time when such involvement has never been needed more. Think of the following essays as a conversation in which some of the most eloquent, visionary, and provocative people of our age explore the historical, political, and spiritual frameworks that have shaped their lives. You may not agree with all the beliefs they espouse or the stands they take. But I hope their strength of conviction will inspire you.

The stories they tell embody the indomitable spirit expressed in the Billie Holiday lyric that inspired this book’s title: “The difficult I’ll do right now. The impossible will take a little while.” Holiday confronted plenty of darkness, from the lynchings she sang about in “Strange Fruit” to her many personal demons. But her voice, still with us, rises above such circumstances, lifting our spirits. Aptly enough, the “impossible” quote emerged from a context that demanded the utmost perseverance and bravery; it was the motto of the World War II Army Corps of Engineers and Navy Seabees. Lyricist Carl Sigman wove the lines into a song after seeing them on the wall of his mess hall in North Africa. Imagination and courage feed each other.

Political and personal hopes are intertwined, of course. What keeps us committed to improving our communities and our country is akin to what gives us the strength to endure the challenges of our individual lives. So I’ve included pieces that straddle both worlds, such as Diane Ackerman’s moving account of volunteering at a suicide prevention hotline, where she faced the daunting task of persuading people who’d given up on life that it was nonetheless worth holding on, and Mary Catherine Bateson’s exploration of how the most powerful personal journeys rarely follow linear paths. But my primary focus is on what moves us beyond mere individual survival, beyond carving out a comfortable private existence, to broader, more enduring visions that can help us tackle common problems and keep on doing so regardless of the frustrations we may encounter.


This isn’t to say that the tasks before us are easy, or that success is guaranteed. But political hope isn’t about certainty. It’s about the sense that our actions can matter—even in circumstances where we could reasonably conclude that change is impossible. As Jim Wallis of the Christian social justice magazine Sojourners says, “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change.”

Another way of expressing Wallis’s sentiment is that hope is a way of looking at the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the stories of those, like Tutu and Mandela, who persist under the most dangerous conditions at times when even imagining aloud the possibility of change is deemed a crime or viewed as a type of madness. We can use their experience to fuel our own engagement, even if on a far more modest stage. In “We Are All Khaled Said,” key Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim describes how he and his compatriots helped people realize they weren’t alone in their outrage at President Hosni Mubarak’s brutal thirty-year dictatorship, then inspired them to publicly challenge the regime. Similarly, former Czech president Václav Havel uses his country’s experience to describe how a series of small, seemingly futile moral actions can bring down an empire. When the Czech rock band Plastic People of the Universe was outlawed and arrested because the authorities said their Frank Zappa–influenced music was “morbid” and had a “negative social impact,” Havel organized a defense committee; that, in turn, evolved into the Charter 77 organization, which set the stage for Czechoslovakia’s broader democracy movement. As Havel wrote three years before the Communist dictatorship fell, and thus before he could know the outcome of his actions, “Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.”

How does a person come by such an orientation? The life of Rosa Parks offers a telling clue, provided that we look beyond the conventional renditions of her experience, which actually obscure how the human spirit can prevail in bleak times. We think, because we’ve been told the story again and again, that one day Parks stepped onto a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and single-handedly and without apparent preparation inaugurated the civil rights movement by refusing to sit in the segregated section.

Such accounts, however well-meaning, belie a much more complex reality: that Parks had by that time been a civil rights activist for twelve years, was the secretary of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and acted not alone but in concert with and on behalf of others. The summer before her arrest, she’d taken a ten-day workshop and met with an older generation of civil rights activists at the Tennessee labor and civil rights center, Highlander Folk School, which is still going strong today. At the first NAACP meeting Parks attended, the focus was lynching, an “all-American” form of terrorism once so accepted in respectable circles that white gentlemen smoking cigars and ladies in their Sunday best posed for photos standing in front of black men being burned and hanged. (The pictures can be seen in all their horror at the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis.) Out of this bleak legacy and, more important, the years of struggle to overcome it, came the courage and determination of Parks and people like her—the community of like-minded souls I mentioned earlier.

Just as nothing cripples the will like isolation, nothing buoys the spirit and expands the horizon of what seems possible like the knowledge that others who faced equal or greater challenges in the past continued on nonetheless, to bequeath us a better world. Historian and theologian Vincent Harding imagines a river of social justice involvement that begins with the biblical prophets, goes forward into the future, and connects all who ever worked for change with all who ever will. In “The Progressive Story of America,” Bill Moyers looks at a time a hundred years ago when wealthy interests appeared to have an iron grip on the country’s political and economic life. Populists and progressives responded by speaking out on the injustices they saw, organizing and resisting until their voices could not be ignored. Against all odds, they redressed the balance between wealth and commonwealth and reclaimed America’s democratic heritage in ways that could be a model for today.

Even in a seemingly futile moment or losing cause, one person may unknowingly inspire another, and that person yet a third, who could go on to change the world, or at least a small corner of it. Mandela called this process “the multiplication of courage.” For example, those who first took a stand in Havel’s Czechoslovakia inspired others who would later join them in overthrowing the regime, even though many of their initial efforts to bring democracy failed. Similarly, Rosa Parks’s husband, Raymond, convinced her to attend her first NAACP meeting, the initial step on a path that brought her to that fateful day on the bus in Montgomery. But who got Raymond Parks involved? And why did that person take the trouble to do so? What experiences shaped their outlook, forged their convictions? The links in any chain of influence are too numerous, too complex to trace. But being aware that such chains exist, that we can choose to become part of them, and that they’re essential for creating lasting change is one of the primary ways to sustain hope, especially when our individual actions may seem too insignificant to amount to anything.

Here’s another example of unexpected ripple effects. In the early 1960s, my friend Lisa took two of her kids to a vigil in front of the White House to protest nuclear testing. The demonstration was small, a hundred women at most. Rain poured down. The women felt frustrated and powerless. A few years later, the movement against testing had grown dramatically, and Lisa attended a major march. Benjamin Spock, whose book on baby and child care had made him one of the most famous doctors in the world, addressed the gathering. He described how he’d come to take a stand, which, owing to his stature, had already influenced thousands. (Later, when he challenged the Vietnam War, he would influence far more.) Spock talked briefly about the risks of nuclear escalation and proliferation, then mentioned that when he was in DC a few years earlier he had seen a small group of women huddled with their kids. It was Lisa’s demonstration. “If those women were out there in the rain,” he said, “their cause must be really important.” That’s when he decided to join the movement.

Sometimes it’s possible not only to achieve hoped-for goals but to do so with a greater impact than we might ever have anticipated. In 2004, I spent Election Day getting out the vote for my preferred candidates, as I do every year. Knocking on doors in a Seattle neighborhood, I spoke with three people who supported my candidate for governor but wouldn’t have voted had I not contacted them: One forgot it was Election Day. Another didn’t know if it was still okay to use an absentee ballot. The third needed a ride to the polls. My impact had nothing to do with eloquence or skill, and everything to do with simply showing up. After three recounts, my candidate won by 133 votes. If just a handful of the volunteers on my side had stayed home, or there’d been a few more on the other side, Washington State would have had a different governor—and significantly different laws and key appointments.

Four years later, that experience helped inspire me to found the Campus Election Engagement Project. Drawing on the most effective nonpartisan approaches from schools throughout the country, my colleagues and I help colleges and universities nationwide assist their students in registering to vote, educating themselves on issues and candidates, and showing up at the polls. I’d hoped the project would make a modest impact, but had no guarantees, and we encountered more than our share of obstacles and setbacks. Yet by 2012 we were working with 750 campuses, which together enrolled 5.5 million students—a far greater reach than I’d ever anticipated.

We live in a contradictory world. Dispiriting events coincide with progress for human dignity. But when change occurs, it’s because people persist, whatever the nature of their causes. Only a short while ago, if you were gay, you were probably invisible and closeted, except for a handful of courageous activists who affirmed who they were despite major risks and costs. Who could have imagined then that Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would conduct a gay marriage in Washington, DC, or that the IRS and the military would treat same-sex partners who’d married in states that permitted this as equal before the law? In “On Being Different,” Dan Savage explores the powerful shift created by those who found the courage to publicly demand respect, then continued speaking out to inspire others.

Young immigration rights activists have told their stories as well. When Gaby Pacheco was seven, her family brought her illegally to the United States from Ecuador. She was the highest-ranked Junior ROTC student in her high school but couldn’t join the Air Force because of her status. Enrolling in Miami/Dade Community College, she became student body president, then headed the statewide student government association. In January 2010, Gaby and three other students launched a four-month walk from Miami to DC that they called the Trail of DREAMs, putting their freedom on the line in support of a path to citizenship. That support grew as marchers, from other cities, joined them along the way. After initially resisting, President Obama issued an executive order halting all deportations of young women and men who were not legal residents but had grown up in this country and were in school, had graduated high school, or had served in the military. Gaby and her peers created what poet Audre Lorde calls “The Transformation of Silence.” From a different political perspective, think about the Tea Party. At the time its activists began organizing, the Republican Party was in disarray, demoralized by the losses it incurred in 2006 and 2008. Tea Party members reached out through house parties, enlisting every network they could. They voiced their concerns at town halls and public meetings and held rallies in their hometowns, in state capitals, and in Washington, DC. And they organized to run candidates and get their supporters to the polls, in both primary and general elections. Whatever you might think of their stands (or those of any of the movements described in this book), their participation inarguably shifted American politics.

“The world gets worse. It also gets better,” writes Rebecca Solnit in a wonderful essay called “Acts of Hope” (alas unavailable for this book, but accessible online under her name and that title). “And the future stays dark, in the sense that we cannot anticipate it.” Change comes, Solnit argues in another essay, “Not by magic, but by the incremental effect of countless acts of courage, love, and commitment, the small drops that wear away stones and carve new landscapes, and sometimes by torrents of popular will that change the world suddenly.”

But how do we find the strength to stay engaged on an issue like climate change, when we may not have the time to wait for the small drops to wear away the stones, or for the long arc of the moral universe to bend toward justice, to borrow the phrase that Martin Luther King adapted from abolitionist Theodore Parker? Within the past two years alone, we’ve seen the devastation of Hurricane Sandy; out-of-control wildfires in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and California (the latter threatening San Francisco’s water supply); off-the-charts droughts, floods, and tornadoes throughout the Midwest and South; and what the National Weather Service called “biblical-level” floods in Colorado. And that’s just in the United States.

Comparable weather-related catastrophes have devastated lives and communities in every country on earth. In 2012, Typhoon Bopha killed 2,000 people in the Philippines. Less than a year later, Typhoon Haiyan became the strongest tropical storm to make landfall in recorded human history. With 195-mile-an-hour winds and storm surges as high as trees, it forced more than 4 million people from their homes and killed over 6,000. In response, Philippine scientist and diplomat Naderev Sano held a protest fast at the UN Climate Summit. “To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change,” he said, “I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your armchair. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast-dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the hills of Central America that confront similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water become scarce. Not to forget the massive hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of North America. And if that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.” Sano concluded: “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness,” asking participants to refuse “to accept a future where super-typhoons like Haiyan become a way of life.”

So far, we’ve not acted to stop this madness, or not done nearly enough. Even when we recognize its importance, the very scale of the threat and the separation between the choices that fuel it and its escalating consequences have often produced just fatalistic resignation. Yet hopeful signs are emerging in this arena, too. As Mark Hertsgaard writes in “Kids, Trees, and Climate Change,” solar and wind technologies are developing to the point where, as reported by institutions like Deutsche Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, they’re becoming sufficiently price-competitive to start displacing fossil fuels in the marketplace. Meanwhile, grassroots movements are making a difference. In “Reluctant Activists,” psychologist Mary Pipher describes how helpless she felt when she learned that the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to carry Canadian tar sands oil, would pass through Nebraska, where she lives. Everyone assumed that the pipeline project, greased by more political money than the state had ever seen, was a done deal. Then Pipher took the radical action of hosting a potluck. The movement she and a handful of friends helped launch grew quickly to include students, small-town ministers and business owners, and Republican ranchers and farmers. It grew nationally, culminating in the arrest of more than a thousand people at the White House as a way of pressuring President Obama to veto the pipeline. Keystone has now been delayed at least three years. Because of this and similar efforts, Obama began speaking more forcefully about the perils of global climate change, and he supported his Environmental Protection Administration in setting strict emission limits on new coal plants that they could meet only through still-emerging carbon capture technology. In “Is There Hope on Climate Change?” David Roberts places his faith precisely in such unanticipated developments, even as the global scientific consensus grows ever more dire.

As the Nebraska Keystone activists learned, unexpected coalitions or allies can open up new possibilities. A few years ago I attended a conference of the Blue/Green Alliance, an organization founded by the Sierra Club and the United Steel Workers that works to ensure both decent jobs and environmental sustainability. (The alliance currently includes ten major unions and four large national environmental groups—a level of participation that in itself represents a victory for crossing expected boundaries.) The day after the conference, the same Washington hotel hosted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and I stayed to interview participants about climate change. Sadly, most over forty years old doubted its reality. But among those younger, all but one of the twenty I approached considered it an issue that required urgent action. “Of course we need to deal with it,” said a young woman who was reading a booklet titled “How to Dismantle Obamacare” and headed her college Young Republicans. When I told her about a Virginia Tech student whose campus sustainability coalition included the Virginia Tech Young Republicans, she said “That’s awesome. That’s how it should be. Conservatives should be leading on this.” Recently, Georgia’s Green Tea Coalition brought together the Tea Party Patriots and the Sierra Club, who together convinced the legislature to increase solar mandates for utility giant Georgia Power.


Since we never know when one of our seemingly modest acts might help change history, or engage someone else who will play a key role, we’d do well to savor both the journey of engagement itself and the everyday grace that we can draw on along the way. In “The Small Work in the Great Work,” the Reverend Victoria Safford advises us to “plant ourselves at the gates of hope,” even in situations that invite pessimism, because “with our lives we make our answers all the time, to this ravenous, beautiful, mutilated, gorgeous world.” Though the habitability of the planet is threatened to an extent unprecedented in human history, the very richness of life can still renew our spirits, can still energize us. When I run on Seattle’s many beaches, and wherever I go in my travels, I start out weighed down by the ills of the world and my personal obsessions. By a few miles in, the burden invariably lifts. I see the landscape with fresh eyes. I slow down, begin to take notice of my surroundings, and drink in its beauty. In “You Are Brilliant and the Earth Is Hiring,” Paul Hawken talks about drawing hope from the majesty of the stars and the miraculous web of cells that constitutes our bodies. The community of conviction is part of and dependent on the entire community of life. And to that larger and vastly older community we can always return to find strength and sustenance.

I like to think that something akin to this realization is what motivated Tutu to dance so joyfully at the Los Angeles fundraising event. As the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz has written, “There are nothing but gifts on this poor, poor earth.” Tutu, like other social and political activists who haven’t forgotten the importance of enjoyment, passionately embraces the gifts placed before him. If it’s a gift of music, he will dance. If a gift of food, he will eat. If the company of friends, he will converse, laugh, and share stories. Such are the small but necessary pleasures that enable him to look evil in the eye and be confident that the fight must be fought. For only someone who knows how good life can be is in a position to appreciate what’s at stake when life is degraded or destroyed.


  • "An indispensable anthology of hope and inspiration. Put away your Prozac, and pick up The Impossible Will Take a Little While."—Arianna Huffington
  • "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
  • "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
  • "An anthology of some of the most powerful voices of of our time."—Boston Globe
  • "For anyone worn down, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is a bracing double cappuccino."—Barbara Ehrenreich
  • "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
  • "Stop worrying, stop feeling sorry for humanity and read The Impossible Will Take a Little While."—Chicago Tribune
  • "A much needed salvo against despair."—Psychology Today
  • "A book of essays meant to inspire people."—Christian Science Monitor
  • "An extremely important effort."—John Kenneth Galbraith
  • "Paul Loeb brings hope for a better world in a time when we so urgently need it."—Millard Fuller, founder, Habitat for Humanity
  • "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
  • "A stirring collection of essays aimed at people who still want to believe that ordinary people can change the world."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • 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 collection of moving essays and poems on how to maintain optimism in a post 9/11 world."—Real Simple
  • "A must read"—Teaching Tolerance
  • "A wonderful book, with some extraordinary folks contributing. It reminds us that darkness always comes before the dawn."—Reg Weaver, president, National Education Association
  • "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
  • "Stunning insights...educational and inspirational."—Seattle Times
  • "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
  • "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
  • "This inspiring collection is such a song of hope in these difficult times."—Bonnie Raitt
  • "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 of The Snow Leopard

On Sale
Apr 29, 2014
Page Count
496 pages
Basic Books

Paul Rogat Loeb

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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