The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear

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reviewed by Bonnie Raitt & Howard Zinn

THE IMPOSSIBLE WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE (Basic Books, 2004) lifts the fog of political despair that envelops so many these days. This book creates a conversation among some of the most visionary and eloquent voices of our times: Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy, Tony Kushner, and Václav Havel. Alice Walker, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Susan Griffin, Marian Wright Edelman Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Hightower, and Desmond Tutu.

With this book, editor Paul Rogat Loeb, whom Susan Sontag has called "a national treasure" for his work on courage and conscience, builds on his activist classic, SOUL OF A CITIZEN: LIVING WITH CONVICTION IN A CYNICAL TIME (St. Martin's Griffin, 1999). He explores what it's like to go up against Goliath – whether South African apartheid, the iron fist of Eastern European dictatorship, or Mississippi segregation. These stories don't sugarcoat the obstacles. But they inspire hope by showing what keeps us keeping on – even when the odds seem overwhelming. They replenish the wellsprings of our commitment.

If you care about change in a world where most people are told their voices don't count, think of this book as a gift to yourself – hope for the homestretch in an immensely critical election, bread for the journey to keep on working for justice no matter what happens in November, sustenance to return to again and again at those points when your spirit begins to flag. Find out more by visiting www.theimpossible.org. You'll find excerpts from the book, reviews, suggestions for reading groups and classroom questions, and lots more.

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