Rosa Parks and organizing

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon May 15 22:16:53 CDT 2000

[ed:  interesting how things come back around--here is some more 
information on the source that started our Rosa Parks discussion.]

From: Maryellen Lewis <lewisma9 at

I sent an OpEd piece by Paul Loeb on Rosa Parks a few weeks ago, and I
received this note from the author, which he asked me to fwd to you as
well.  Apparently the text was excerpted from his book, "Soul of a
Citizen:  Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time" and he thought it might
also be of interest to you.

Maryellen Lewis


From: "Paul Loeb" <paulloeb at
To: <lewisma9 at
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 00:21:31 -0700

Saw your passalong of my Rosa Parks oped on a Web search. Glad you found
it useful. And I agree with your comment on the background of the careful
organization building that preceded her action. If you haven't checked it
out, here's a flier on the Soul of a Citizen book from which it was taken.
Please pass that to interesting folks as well.
intelligence, and thought-provoking wisdom...A new vision for personal 
engagement with societal issues."--Publisher's Weekly, starred review

Soul of a Citizen helps us find the faith we need to act on our deepest 
beliefs--and keep on." --Marian Wright Edelman

"A passionate but reasoned call for Americans to become involved in issues 
that matter."--Chicago Sun-Times

"an essential book for anyone who wants to work for change."-Howard Zinn

"A book that should be placed in the hands of every cynic who sees societal 
problems and then retreats to their private sanctuary, shrugs and says 
'there's nothing we can do.'...A powerful prescription for the cure of the 
insidious disease of cynicism."-Ralph Nader, Public Citizen

"Soul of a Citizen may well become the handbook for activism at the turn of 
the century."


   A book by Paul Rogat Loeb

   How do we make our voices heard and our actions count?

Paul Loeb's Soul of a Citizen offers an antidote to the twin scourges of 
modern life--powerlessness and cynicism. In his evocative style, Loeb 
teaches us that it's possible for us to lead lives worthy of our 
convictions. At the book's core are moving stories of ordinary Americans 
who've found unexpected fulfillment in social involvement. Through their 
example and through Loeb's lessons, we feel compelled to move from 
passivity to  participation. The reward for this, we learn, is a sense of 
connection and purpose rarely found in a purely personal life.

For 30 years, Paul Loeb has explored the psychology of community 
involvement. Soul of a Citizen explores what leads some people to get 
involved in larger issues while others feel overwhelmed or uncertain; what 
it takes to maintain commitment for the long haul; how all of us can live 
with greater courage and integrity.

   Soul of a Citizen by Paul Rogat Loeb, St. Martin's Press, 1999. $15.95
ISBN 0-312-20435-3
   Call St. Martin's Press to order the book: 888 300-8477
   Visit WWW.SOULOFACITIZEN.ORG for reviews, sample chapters,
   interviews, Web links, and more!

  "The voices Loeb finds demonstrate that courage can be another name for 
love."--Alice Walker

"A transformative book of courage and authenticity, Soul of a Citizen 
challenges the apathy and ennui of modern life. It sweeps away the disdain 
and cynicism that prevents us from changing ourselves and the world. If you 
have children, give it to them. If not, give it to your parents."--Paul 
Hawken, co-founder Smith & Hawken , author, The Ecology of Commerce

"An inspiring and helpful guide to working for societal change in these 
cynical times."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Should be mandatory reading for anyone over the age of 12-especially every 
woman or man who has traded 'I give a damn' for  'I give up.'"-Stephanie 
Salter, San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle

"Thoughtful and encouraging, Loeb offers a rich spirituality of citizenship 
for both experienced activists and those just wondering where to 
begin."--Jim Wallis, editor Sojourners

"Like few other chroniclers today, Paul Loeb uncannily captures the 
thoughts and hopes of America.  Loeb is a natural."--Studs Terkel

"Paul Loeb has been doing wonderfully patient work for some years now, 
exploring the American conscience  from the inside. I regard Loeb as 
something of a national treasure."--Susan Sontag

"Soul of a Citizen helps teach us what to do."--David Brower, founder, 
Friends of the Earth.

"Written with thought and conviction, Soul of a Citizen skillfully erases 
the seams between political and  the personal."--John Sweeney, president, 

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