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From Every End of This Earth    by Steven V. Roberts Amazon.com order for
From Every End of This Earth
by Steven V. Roberts
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HarperCollins, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Reading From Every End of This Earth is a fascinating way to dispel any doubts one might have about the value of an immigrant population. The people and families depicted in this book are hardworking and positive-thinking. All of them had difficulties in their homelands. Some were surprised at how hard Americans have to work to get ahead. All have had difficulties accommodating to a new culture. Some are still very much tied to their home culture. Usually it is the second generation that is able to bridge the old culture with the new.

Steven Roberts is a professor at George Washington University, and his students' stories were the inspiration for this book. Roberts has interviewed thirteen families and brings their experience to us so we can understand what it is like to come to the United States country without any means. He harks back to his own grandfathers who were immigrants. Today's immigrant experience is not too much different, with one powerful exception: the separation from one's home country is not as final today there is always the possibility to phone and to conduct business with one's homeland.

Interesting as these stories are, they sometimes are a bit difficult to follow, since Roberts chooses to loop in and out of the present and the past. But the pain of separation, and the effort to make a go in the new country are universal and admirable in all. Their presence enriches our country, and their courage is an example to us all.

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