From This Day Forward

From This Day Forward

3.9 10
by Cokie Roberts, Steven V. Roberts

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After thirty years together, Cokie and Steve Roberts know something about marriage and after thirty distinguished years in journalism, they know how to write about it.In From This Day Forward, Cokie and Steve weave their personal stories of matrimony into a wider reflection on the state of marriage in American today.

Here they write with the same


After thirty years together, Cokie and Steve Roberts know something about marriage and after thirty distinguished years in journalism, they know how to write about it.In From This Day Forward, Cokie and Steve weave their personal stories of matrimony into a wider reflection on the state of marriage in American today.

Here they write with the same conversational style that catapulted Cokie's We Are Our Mother's Daughters to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. They ruminate on their early worries about their different faiths -- she's Catholic, he's Jewish -- and describe their wedding day at Cokie's childhood home. They discuss the struggle to balance careers and parenthood, and how they compromise when they disagree. They also tell the stories of other American marriages: that of John and Abigail Adams, and those pioneers, slaves and immigrants. They offer stories of broken marriages as well, of contemporary families living through the "divorce revolution". Taken together, these tales reveal the special nature of the wedding bond in America. Wise and funny, this book is more than an endearing chronicle of a loving marriage -- it is a story of all husbands and wives, and how they support and strengthen each other.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Veteran journalists Cokie (National Public Radio, ABC News), who s Catholic, and Steven (U.S. News & World Report), who s Jewish, tell the story of their long and successful marriage in which they determined from the outset that neither would convert to the other s religion. Instead, they would celebrate the traditions of both faiths. That sharing, in addition to their backgrounds with happily married parents, great mutual respect, and his encouragement of her career, has evidently been successful. This recorded version of their best-selling book features both Robertses speaking their own parts: how they met, the progress of their careers, and reflections about how the way they did things contributed to their relationship. Interspersed are interesting stories read by Sandra Burr about other marriages in American history John and Abigail Adams; African American slaves; pioneer homesteaders; and Holocaust survivors. More thoughtful than the usual celebrity autobiography, this is for public library collections. Nann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review
“Instructive and inspiring.”

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We are often asked how we met, usually by young people who are still wondering about this marriage thing. When do you know you've found the right person? How can you tell? The problem is summed up by Steve's twin brother, Marc, who likes to put it this way: Choosing a mate is like being told to walk through a forest and pick up the biggest stick you can find. But you only get to pick up one stick and you never know when the forest will end. In our case it was even more complicated. Since Cokie is Catholic and Steve is Jewish, the kind of stick each of us chose was also an issue---to ourselves and to our families. But in another sense we were following a familiar pattern, meeting and marrying young. We both have brothers who married at twenty. Like us, Cokie's parents, Hale and Lindy Boggs, met in college, where they worked on the student newspaper together. Steve's father, Will, met his bride, Dorothy, on her seventeenth birthday. And he used to look around at gatherings of his children and grandchildren, when the tribe had reached eighteen, and say with considerable pride, "See what happens when you walk a girl home from a birthday party?" Our story is not quite so romantic, but typical of our life---public and private threads woven together. Steve was nineteen, Cokie eighteen. It was the summer of 1962, between our sophomore and junior years in college, and we both were attending a student political conference at Ohio State.

C R: I saw Steven across the yard and he looked familiar to me because I knew his twin brother. And I kept thinking, Is that Marc Roberts? He doesn't quite look like Marc Roberts, but he looks a whole lot like Marc Roberts. And then I got up close to him and he had a name tag, so I said, "Are you Marc Roberts' brother?" And he said, "Yes, are you Barbara Boggs's sister?" And that's how we met.

S R: I had actually heard of Cokie all that summer. I had been recruited by one of my Harvard professors, Paul Sigmund, who was looking for student journalists to put out a newspaper at the World Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland. I didn't know that our trip was financed by the CIA, or that Paul would later marry Cokie's sister, making us brothers-in-law as well as co-conspirators. Another recruit was Bob Kaiser, then at Yale, an old friend of the Boggs family, and in Helsinki he kept telling me about this girl he knew at Wellesley, Cokie Boggs. But Bob made a critical mistake: he stayed in Europe. I went home early for the political meeting, and since I'd heard about her from Bob, I knew who she was when I met her.

C R: But he has this picture in his mind that I was wearing a pair of charcoal-gray Bermuda shorts and I have never in my life owned a pair of charcoal-gray Bermuda shorts. It was 1962. It might have been 1932 in terms of men and women. The fact that I actually spoke at this meeting was highly unusual.

S R: But I also found that intriguing. I think from the very beginning, the fact that Cokie was so independent-minded and so forceful appealed to me. I mean, she was not the secretary sitting at the back of the room taking notes.

C R: Although really, I took quite a few.

S R: We started flirting, writing notes to each other during these endless meetings, and Cokie has actually saved some of them all these years. On a long list of people who had been nominated for national office, I scribbled on the side, "You're so efficient it hurts." She wrote back, "I'm the youngest child of an insane family---somebody had to be efficient, otherwise we'd starve!" I answered, "Be efficient, but Jeezus---don't ever get comfortable. It's such a deadly disease!" That statement probably defines the word "sophomoric," but it also shows how little I knew about myself. I was actually looking for comfort and I think she might have known that. Her final word on the "deadly disease" question was, "Would that I could ever have the opportunity to catch it!"

C R: And then we went back to school. Our dorms were only twelve and a half miles apart, we later learned, but at first he didn't call me. So I think I called him and invited him to the Junior Show. Is that what happened?

S R: That would be typical. I remember sitting in the audience, watching her sing---a symbolic way to spend our first date. I remember afterward she was wearing a bright green dress, and we went to the Howard Johnson's down in the village for something to eat.

C R: And then I came home and I had such a good time, such a good time, I went dancing up the stairs singing "I Feel Pretty." And then he never called.

S R: I didn't call because I was petrified. I had this rule that I didn't call a girl more than twice. I really liked her and I enjoyed the show, but I was unnerved. I was typical guy. I was nineteen. But there were other guys from Harvard who went out to Wellesley regularly and I would hear from them, "Cokie Boggs asked after you." So we had this long-distance communication. I knew where she was. I knew where to find her.

C R: And then in March of '63 my sister was putting on a big conference in Washington on creating a domestic peace corps. Most of the schools paid for their students to stay in hotels, but Harvard didn't, so Barbara had arranged for people to stay at our parents' house if they wanted to. We were expecting a whole crowd, but in the end, it was just me and Steven.

S R: We drove down to Washington together. I remember walking up to the car in Cambridge and seeing Cokie in the backseat of the car and saying to myself, "You made a mistake by not calling her."

Meet the Author

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards and in 2008 was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and, with her husband, the journalist Steven V. Roberts, From This Day Forward and Our Haggadah.

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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From This Day Forward 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After hearing a interview with the authors I was very intrigued. I honestly was expecting a book that preaches the dos and don'ts of having a good marriage. I was surprised to find a funny, honest book about a couples low and high times in a marriage and much more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be both informative and an inspiration. The personal stories that they share allowed me to see how and what two people sacrificed and compromised for the love of each other and their family. The other stories that fill the book such as John and Abigail Adams, pioneer marriages, slave marriages, immigrant marriages are just wonderful. I found the story about immigrant marriages to be the most interesting to me. They tell the most beautiful love stories and coincidences that just cannot be ignored. I would have missed out on so much had I not read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a big fan of Cokie's last book, We Are Our Mother's Daughters, because I admired and enjoyed how she wove her experiences in with more historical examples of how women have lived and loved over the last century. I eagerly anticipated her and her husband's new book, From This Day Forward. I actually enjoyed this more than her first book - she and Steve give us the transcripts of many conversations they had over the months as they labored on this book and those talks are a delightful window into their marriage. The chapters alternate between their conversations about chunks of their lives together from when they first met and progressed from a college relationship to getting married to their times abroad and their struggles with careers, religion, and children. Unlike many authors, they do not gloss over the hard times but seem to give the reader an accurate picture of their marital, domestic, and career triumphs and struggles and the lessons they learned. The personal chapters alternate with historical examinations of marriages including famous ones like John and Abigail Adams to little-studied ones like commonlaw marriages among slaves in the last century. The chapter on the Adams marriage was a particular favorite since I am an American history buff who had no idea what a large role Abigail played in her husband's success nor had I any clue the kinds of turmoil that early American women suffered through since most books focus on the politics and military side of the revolutionary period. The interwoven narratives are crisp and relative to the Roberts' account of their marriage and they provide pleasant diversions from the chronological memoir of Steve and Cokie's marriage. A unique and enjoyable way of combining social history with personal memoir!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I bought the book, I was hoping to read an insightful story of how a mixed-marriage could work. Instead, all that I learned was that this marriage works because the both Cokie and Steven are high profile people whose lifestyle can not be compared to any average person. I must admit that this angered me. I feel that both Cokie and Steven come across as 'high-pedestal' people looking down on the rest of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I had high hopes prior to reading it. Unfortuantely, these hopes were dashed. This book proves to be a very tedious read and I feel that the authors were 'preaching' to me throughout the read. It's all very well to have a different point of view than the reader, by an author should not write in a manner that demeans individuals who do not share their view. It appears that Cokie Roberts does not understand the meaning of 'diversied viewpoints'. I wish that I could get my money back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My purpose in reading this book was to assist mixed faith marriages in our church. I gained a whole lot more. I observed communication, compromise, perseverance, respect for each other and each other other's beliefs and partners doing what was best for family despite the fact they they might have preferred to do differently. I gained insight into my own 38 year old marriage. We need more role models like Cokie and Steve Roberts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The discussions of slave, pioneer and immigrant marriages were very interesting and I was pleased to see that the Robertses included their bibliography. There is much on 'blended families', and how being a stepparent can affect one's marriage, which I also found interesting. I must note, however, that the Robertses could not resist the urge to talk excessively about how perfect (ingenious, athletic, and musical etc.) their 2 children are, to the point it becomes almost offensive. As punishment, they lose a star.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a member of the modern generation who is wondering what Marriage is all about, I found this book to be inspiring. If we could all find this level of commitment in each other than the divorce rate wouldn't be at 60%.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ohmaigosh I'm trembling! AWESOME!!! (really cool names by the way!)