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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.
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