The Impossible Will Take a Little While

 In social movements

The second edition of a terrific antidote to political despair is now available — The Impossible Will Take a Little While: perseverance and hope in troubled times, edited by author/activist and former Peace Action of Washington State President Paul Loeb.

“Might possibly be the most important collection of stories and essays you will ever read.” —American Book Association & History Channel

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

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

How do you break through America’s pervasive political cynicism and despair? How have the leaders and unsung heroes of world-changing movements persevered in the face of doubt, fear, and seemingly overwhelming odds?  In The Impossible Will Take a Little While, they tell us in their own words. After 22 printings, editor Paul Rogat Loeb has comprehensively updated this classic collection of voices on what it’s like to go up against Goliath, adding visionary new pieces, updating existing ones, and writing new introductory reflections. These stories don’t sugarcoat the obstacles. But they inspire hope by showing what keeps us keeping on.


The Impossible creates 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, Václav 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.  See or buy the book here.



The Impossible brings together the voices of these eloquent writers and activists to talk about how we replenish the wells of commitment, exploring what keeps us going as we work for a more humane world. Loeb explores the historical, political, ecological, and spiritual frameworks that help us to persist—with concrete examples of how people have faced despair and overcome it. Some address our current political time, from memoirs of the Arab Spring to dispatches from the frontlines of the battle to stop global warming. Others examine how people persisted in past struggles that could easily have been deemed unwinnable: what it was like to nonviolently confront South African apartheid, Eastern European dictatorships, Mississippi’s entrenched segregation, the bigotry that kept gays silent and closeted, or the economic greed that America’s populists and progressives challenged a hundred years ago and showed us how to challenge today.


Buy the book as a gift of hope for yourself or for friends ($19.95 paperback) in bulk for reading groups and organizations (both The Impossible and Soul of a Citizen are great for motivating staff and volunteers to keep on with their critical work), and forward this email wherever possible. Visit Paul’s website to find excerpts, reviews, reading group questions, information on classroom use, and multiple ways to pass the word.

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  • Oliver Robinson

    Paul Loeb of Washington State if you like to read follow up on Paul Loeb from your America community organizer
    Rev Dr. O.D.Robinson Psy.D on face book just Oliver Robinson 5011

  • Oliver Robinson

    What do you think about the tea party in America,s
    i believe that the tea party is no more then the
    Kansas act of 1854 in stead of puttying people in office
    the tea party should be helping American families who are poor and the middle class American,and helping with School bullying and shooting the tea party is useing their funds in the wrong way, tea party help us with
    Anger management no more kansas act over salves let
    candidate work to get into offics
    Said it loud)
    Rev Dr.O.D. Robinson Psy.D

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