From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Steven V. Roberts follows the stories of thirteen families in this poignant, eye-opening look at immigration in America today.

America is a nation of immigrants. But what does it mean to be an immigrant in the United States today? In some ways, the experience has never changed—all newcomers feel the pain of separation. In other ways, it has changed drastically—families maintain strong business ties to their home countries and speak daily with their relatives on cell phones.

Attitudes about the great melting pot have taken a sharp turn toward insularity in recent years. The 9/11 attacks and recent waves of undocumented workers seem to have eroded America's long-standing belief in the value of immigration. Yet the families in this book conclusively demonstrate that critics are wrong, and that in the age of Barack Obama, the son of an immigrant from Kenya, newcomers "from every end of this earth" continue to renew America's greatness, every day, with their courage and character.

Having shared his own family's story in My Fathers' Houses, distinguished journalist Steven V. Roberts now profiles immigrants from China and Afghanistan, Mexico and Sierra Leone, who have journeyed to our shores in pursuit of the same dream that propelled his own grandparents to leave Russia and Poland a century ago. He combines compelling interviews and meticulous research to produce an engaging, wonderfully clear, and accessible narrative that explores each family's original yet deeply resonant story.

As the political debate rages on, Roberts offers an essential and timely look at today's immigrant accounts, and sheds light on the enormous contributions these individuals continue to make to the fabric and future of America.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The title evokes stirring words from Barack Obama's inaugural address: "We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth." Those words serve as a springboard to Steven V. Roberts's portrait of 13 immigrant families. From Every End of This Earth widens the circles set in My Fathers' Houses, his tribute to his own immigrant grandfather and multicultural upbringing. This book is equally personal: Many of the immigrants profiled are relatives of students Roberts has taught at George Washington University.
Washington Post
“[An] homage to the sacrifice generation and the children for which they make that sacrifice. . . . Roberts offers not only diversity of geography, but also diversity of experiences. . . . Roberts focuses on each family and tells its tale in a compassionate, engaging way.”
Library Journal
As Roberts (My Fathers' Houses) recognizes, no single story—or even collection of stories—can tell a reader the entire immigrant experience. The 13 families highlighted in this book, however, voice a diverse group of immigrant experiences, which will be enlightening for readers who want to learn more about the human side of what is often a highly polarizing issue. Their stories range from an escape from Vietnam to a choice to attend graduate school in the United States. Each family's account is fairly short, contributing to the book's readability but at the same time requiring Roberts to summarize years of people's lives and at times simplify the complex histories of their countries of origin. Numerous rich quotes from each family allow them to speak for themselves, and their inclusion is one of the highlights of the book. VERDICT This will appeal to general readers, particularly those who enjoy family histories, biographies, and memoirs as well as anyone interested in immigration.—Madeline Mundt, Univ. of Nevada, Reno Libs.
Washington Post
“[An] homage to the sacrifice generation and the children for which they make that sacrifice. . . . Roberts offers not only diversity of geography, but also diversity of experiences. . . . Roberts focuses on each family and tells its tale in a compassionate, engaging way.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061245619
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Pages: 323
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and a senior news analyst for National Public Radio. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program, This Week. She is the bestselling author of We Are Our Mothers' Daughters, Ladies of Liberty, and Founding Mothers.

Steve Roberts is the author of From Every End of This Earth and My Fathers' Houses. He has worked as a journalist for more than forty years and appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network and National Public Radio. Since 1997 he has been the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

Cokie and Steve Roberts are the New York Times bestselling authors of From This Day Forward. They write a weekly column syndicated in newspapers across the country by United Media. The parents of two children and grandparents of six, Cokie and Steve live in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I The Survivors

1 Bao, Tuyen, and Thai Phi Pham-Vietnam 7

2 Alice Ingabire-Schaut-Rwanda 28

3 Eddie Kamara Stanley, Marie Stanley, and Mabinty Kamara-Sierra Leone 49

Part II The International Entrepreneurs

4 Wai Hung (Thomas) Chan and Kong Kuk (Maggie) Wong Chan-China, Hong Kong 75

5 Asis, Indira, Priyanka, and Piyali Banerjie-India 94

Part III The Business Owners

6 Sarantos (Sam) and Ioanna Kourtsounis, Petros (Pete) and Eleni Kourtsounis-Greece 125

7 Jose, Beti, and Ana Reyes-El Salvador 144

Part IV The Professionals

8 Sarah and Nicholas Stern-Ukraine 167

9 Munr Kazmir (Munir Kazmi, Meir Kazmir)-Syria, Pakistan 188

10 Pablo Romero-Mexico 208

Part V The Women

11 Marie Aziz, Mariam Aziz Mahmoudi, and Mahera Loynab Aziz-Afghanistan 241

12 Ursula (Ulla) Kirschbaum Morris Carter-Germany, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece Karin Morris-Lebanon, Greece Moshe (Kushi) Gavrieli-Israel 264

13 Haaroon, Malak, Khalida, Ameera, and Deeba Kemal-Burma 291

Afterword 315

Acknowledgments 321

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