Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Impossible Will Take a Little While

The phrase "the impossible will take a little while" comes from a Billie Holliday song. Along with George Lakoff's previously mentioned "Don't Think Like an Elephant," the book "The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizens' Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear" (Basic Books, $15.95) comes to us just in time to ward off some of the red-faced blues of progressives' winter of discontent.

"The Impossible Will Take a Little While" (which I discovered advertised in this month's Progressive magazine) is a lively assemblage of essays to help progressives rebuild their hopes and accomplish what they can out there in the lumbering elephant-infested jungles of the real (and often seemingly regressive) world. "The Impossible Will Take a Little While" is an anthology of 49 new and classic pieces of activist inspiration, compiled by Paul Loeb, author of "Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time" (which I can also recommend).

Here is what some name-brand reviewers have said about "The Impossible Will Take a Little While:"

“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

“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

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

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

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

“A magnificent anthology celebrates hope, guts, and the power of taking action.... Loeb has done us a great favor. In his new book The Impossible Will Take a Little While, he 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, 49 ways to take action...”
— Pam Houston, The Oprah Magazine [Lead Review]

“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

"Each story sings with hope, sustained by the faith that individual deeds still matter. Paul Loeb has produced an exceptional political anthology, filled with refreshing, heroic voices of those who refused to give up, even in the face of almost impossible odds. I found myself inspired - galvanized, even - by this remarkable chorus of strength."
— Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

"This book embodies a new spirit of responsibility for the planet and those who inhabit it. We begin to sense what it might mean to treat the world as a sacred gift."
— Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, former national president of Pax Christi

"An indispensable anthology of hope and inspiration. It's impossible to feel pessimistic after basking in the collective wisdom of the likes of Nelson Mandela, Václav Havel, Marian Wright Edelman, Alice Walker, Tony Kushner, and Cornel West. This book is also Exhibit A in how the political and the personal can come together to change the world. Put away your Prozac and pick up The Impossible Will Take a Little While."
— Arianna Huffington, author of Fanatics and Fools

"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 of Your Money or Your Life

"Paul Loeb's new book is just what the doctor ordered for these depressing times: a massive infusion of hope, written in the clearest and most inspiring prose. Do your soul a favor and read this book."
— Kevin Danaher, Cofounder, Global Exchange

"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

"After reading the indomitable Mandela and Havel, John Lewis and Sherman Alexie, I was filled with new vigor. This collection is a forceful testimonial to the unique power of hope. Success is literally impossible unless you have hope. And for readers who know their Darwin, it offers a quiet reminder that pessimism has no survival value."
— Denis Hayes, Chairman Earth Day Network

"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

"For anyone worn down, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is a bracing double cappuccino!"
— Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickled and Dimed in America

"Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I’ll do right now
The impossible will take a little while
I say I’ll care forever
And I mean forever
If I have to hold up the sky..."

If you've read this far, you probably ARE trying to hold up at least a little piece of the sky - and realize this might be a book well worth exploring.


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