Reviews of The Magnificent Losers


"Here's a fascinating collection of stories that have been meticulously researched covering certain historical ares and the little known individuals who influenced those times. Interesting, education and a fun read."

--Zed Merrill, author Invisible are the Brave

"Magnificent Losers is a brilliant corrective to the Great Man theory of history, perhaps more necessary today than ever. In a series of finely crafted biographical vignettes, Coodley chronicles the lives of some 20 leaders, thinkers and activists across more than 2000 years of history, whose ideas represented concepts of justice and reform that were far ahead of their time...In Coodley's insightful retelling, these aren't the losers of history, but its advance guard.  The ideas they championed were worth fighting for, as they helped lay the foundation for a more equal and just society that we're still struggling to attain."

--W.C. McRae, author Pacific Northwest: Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit

"Gregg Coodley chronicles the deeds of a host of largely forgotten heroes who, in their time, lost and often died in their struggles for freedom, justice and equality..."Magnificent Losers details events leading up to those defeats and tells how loss laid the groundwork for ultimate victory. These are inspiring stories of courage, persistence and virtue that speak to the pressing needs of our own time."

--Rick Seifert, Journalist, Community Leader and University teacher

"This book is a collection of many tidbits of history, some of which I knew a bit of, many of which I knew none of. The heroes of the stories are indeed Magnificent Losers, some of whom changed history while losing."

--Dr. Charles Kuttner, M.D.

"From Roman Judea to medieval England to early 20th century America, Gregg Coodley catches the spirit of those who battled for the oppressed and left behind not immediate victory, but immortal legend.  Some of Coodley's heroes, such as Garibaldi and William Jennings Bryan, are widely known, but he also brings to life figures such as Tupac Amaru, leader of an 18th century revolt against the Spanish, and General Oliver Howard, battling against impossible odds for the rights of the freedmen after the Civil War.  At a vital historical moment, Coodley reminds us that fighters for freedom and justice can never really lose."

--David Sarasohn Columnist, The Oregonian

"This book could not arrive at a more opportune time when many of us need to be reminded that our work for social justice is not in vain...It makes a persuasive case through the force of many examples that our efforts may well bear fruit long after we are gone, and in doing so it holds out hope."

--Stephen Karakashian, co-author, Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer

"Perhaps, as Churchill said, history is written by the victors. But social progress may well be inspired by the vanquished. Gregg Coodley has put together a fascinating and entertaining collection: stories of misfits and losers who ultimately helped create a more compassionate and understanding society."

--Michael Z. Cahana, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel

"Gregg Coodley has undertaken an ambitiously wide-ranging, surprising and often provocative historical tour of men and women who struggled and often succeeded at changing their world for the better. He has delivered their stories to us both compellingly and concisely."

--Fergus M. Bordewich, Author, The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington and a Group of  Extraordinary Men Invented the Government

"History's hidden heroes come to life in the book, a series of vignettes of 20 men and women from ancient Rome to 20th century Europe and America who devoted their lives to social equality, national independence, or the advancement of women and workers. Some faced defeat or compromise. Others met early deaths. All created legacies that inspired later generations. The book's achievement is to build biographies from multiple sources that show how activists across time committed their lives to begin work that outlived their lifetimes. Read it to learn and to be inspired."

--Bob Liebman, Professor of Sociology, Portland State University


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