Steve Roberts has been interested in the immigrant experience his whole life. His grandparents were Eastern European Jews who settled in Bayonne, N.J. (although one grandfather took a detour as a Zionist pioneer in Israel and then lived briefly in Washington near Sixth & I), and he grew up hearing their tales of the Old Country.
In From Every End of this Earth, Roberts' chronicles the lives of 13 immigrant families who are living the journey today that his grandparents made almost 100 years ago. He captures the difficulties of starting over among strangers and the pursuit of hope within the American dream. Roberts speaks with NPR's Diane Rehm about his book and the ongoing debate on immigration reform.
Diane Rehm is a public radio talk show host. Her program, "The Diane Rehm Show," is distributed nationally and internationally by National Public Radio. Rehm has interviewed high-profile political and cultural figures, including Bill Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, Madeleine Albright, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ralph Nader, Arlo Guthrie, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Maurice Sendak, and Maya Angelou.
She has written two autobiographical books. The first, Finding My Voice, dealt with her traditional upbringing in a Christian Arab household, her brief first marriage and divorce, her 42-year marriage to John Rehm, raising her children, the first 20 years of her radio career, and her battles with depression, osteoporosis, and spasmodic dysphonia. Together with John Rehm she co-wrote Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage, which was published in 2002.
Steve Roberts has been a journalist for more than 45 years, covering some of the major events of his time, from the antiwar movement and student revolts of the 60s and 70s to President Reagan's historic trip to Moscow in 1988 and eleven presidential election campaigns. After graduating from Harvard magna cum laude in 1964, he joined the New York Times as research assistant to James 'Scotty' Reston, then the paper's Washington bureau chief. His 25-year career with the Times included assignments as bureau chief in Los Angeles and Athens, and as Congressional and White House correspondent. He was a senior writer at U.S. News for seven years, specializing in national politics and foreign policy.
Roberts and his wife, TV journalist Cokie Roberts, write a nationally-syndicated newspaper column that was named one of the ten most popular columns in America by Media Matters. In February of 2000 Steve and Cokie published From This Day Forward, an account of their marriage, as well as other marriages in American history. The New York Times called the book "inspiring and instructive" and it spent seven weeks on the Times best-seller list. Roberts also writes a bi-monthly column, Hometown, for Bethesda Magazine. His childhood memoir, My Fathers' Houses, was published in the spring of 2005 and was featured at the National Book Festival in Washington. His latest book, From Every End of This Earth, the story of 13 immigrant families and the new lives they've made in America, is dedicated to his students at George Washington University.
A well-known commentator on many Washington-based TV shows, Roberts also appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network and is a substitute host on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show."
As a teacher, he lectures widely on American politics and the role of the news media. Since 1997 he has been the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, where he has taught for the last 19 years.
His many honors include the Dirksen Award for covering Congress, the Wilbur Award for reporting on religion and politics, the Bender prize as one of GW's top undergraduate teachers, and four honorary doctorates. He's been named a Father of the Year by the Father's Day Council and received the Public Service Sector Award from the Aspen Institute.