Synopses & Reviews
A small cadre of scientists—collaborators and competitors—are determined to develop a vaccine for malaria, a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. Skepticism, doubt, and a host of logistical and financial obstacles dog their quest. Success may ultimately elude them. Why, and how, do they persist?
The kind of person who decides to combat malaria must have a very rare combination of attributes: dogged enough to keep going when results are slow; independent enough to continue, often alone, when other, more popular, causes distract attention from their work; self-confident enough in the importance of the work to persist when the beneficiaries may reside thousands of miles distant. Above all, taking on a challenge of this scale requires a fearlessly bold moral imagination that defies reason. Bill Shore tells the story of mans attempt to combat malaria through the drama of the handful of scientists and organizations currently seeking to curb, and in one case, at least, cure, the world of this most ancient and persistent scourge. It is a drama to the death.
The story of these uncompromising scientists serves as a springboard for Shores passionate inquiry into the character and moral fabric of those who devote their lives to solving the worlds most pressing and perplexing problems. During his career as a social entrepreneur Shore has persistently wrestled with this fundamental question: What does it take to make a truly transformational difference? To achieve not just incremental progress but a game changer or, in the case of malaria, a life saver? In this moving and inspiring book, he offers compelling answers.
Richard Russo,Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls
“Bill Shore’s The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men is all about links, often invisible, between science and compassion, imagination and reason, philanthropy and markets, competition and cooperation. It’s also about solving some of the world’s most intractable problems—intractable, Shore argues passionately and convincingly, because all but a few of us too readily accept the conventional wisdom that they are unsolvable. It is, in other words, a necessary book.”
David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
“Bill Shore provides fascinating insights into the journeys of two wonderful men trying to change the world—one a scientist and the other the author himself. Both lives show that character, ambition, imagination, and the stubborn conviction that good is not good enough are indispensable to every leader seeking higher ground.”
Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2010
“An upbeat account of several American scientists researching malaria prevention.. Mr. Shore tells his story well.”
Through the story of scientists pursuing an impossible dream, a renowned social entrepreneur examines what it really takes to change the world
About the Author
BILL SHORE is the founder and executive director of Share Our Strength®, the nations leading organization working to end childhood hunger in America, which he founded in 1984. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Timberland Company, and of Venture Philanthropy Partners. Shore has been an adjunct professor at New York Universitys Stern School of Business and is currently the program advisor for the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Governments Center for Public Leadership. He is the author of three books.