GW News
A Faculty for Writing
Alumni Events and Activities
Alumni Newsmakers

Service Notes
Shaping Modern Oman
Street Smarts
Mission Accomplished
In Memoriam
Alumni Bookshelf
Artist's Corner


Contact Us
Alumni Association
Law Alumni Association
GW News Center

Pursuing the American Dream

The American dream shines brightly throughout My Fathers’ Houses: Memoir of a Family (William Morrow, 2005), by renowned journalist and media personality Steven V. Roberts, GW’s Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs. In this colorful and inspiring story, Roberts transports readers to his childhood home in Bayonne, N.J., where he says he was “connected by innumerable little cords to people and places that gave me strength and identity.”

Surrounded by family and tales of the Old Country, Roberts grew up in the forties and fifties on a crowded block in working class Bayonne, just across the Hudson River from New York City, in a house built by his immigrant grandfather. “On the Block, I was safe, secure, loved,” he writes. “I even had a number, 174, the address of our house, but the number wasn’t a badge of anonymity. To the contrary, it marked my place, where I belonged.”

Roberts traces the history of his immigrant family from Russia, where the “family business” of writing and ideas was born, through Palestine to Bayonne. Along the way, he tells tales of his great uncle, who was an editor of Pravda, two great aunts, who were original members of the Bolshevik party, his grandfather, a Zionist pioneer who helped to build the second road in Tel Aviv before settling in America, and his parents, who penned close to 100 love letters to one another before secretly marrying. His father, an acclaimed children’s book writer who used his twin sons—Steve and Marc—as inspiration for his bestselling stories, and his uncle, a critic and short story writer, instilled in Roberts a lifelong love for words and a passion for carrying on the family legacy.

Now a journalist for more than 35 years, Roberts also recounts his own path to the top—from his early days as a 14-year old cub reporter for his hometown newspaper to his illustrious 25-year career at The New York Times. Throughout, this compelling story of fathers and sons encapsulates the American experience of change and continuity and celebrates the American dream.

Roberts, who teaches political science and journalism at GW, is a well-known commentator on radio and television. He and his wife, TV journalist Cokie Roberts, wrote The New York Times best-seller, From This Day Forward.

Conquering World Poverty

The numbers are chilling. More than 800 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger. Every day, some 30,000 children in developing countries die from preventable causes—almost 11 million this year alone. GW Professor of Economics Steven C. Smith offers strategies for tackling world poverty in his new book, Ending Global Poverty: A Guide to What Works (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Smith, who directs GW’s Research Program in Poverty, Development, and Globalization, explores the myriad traps that keep people entrenched in poverty—like malnutrition, illiteracy, and poor access to health care—and presents eight keys to escaping those traps. These “keys to capability”—ranging from basic education, which builds the foundations for self-reliance, to personal and community empowerment, aimed at ensuring effective participation in the wider world, help people gain the tools to break out of the bondage of extreme poverty.

The book also offers comprehensive strategies for building capabilities and assets among the impoverished and provides an extensive set of anti-poverty initiatives and programs aimed at conquering human poverty in a single generation.

Smith is co-author, with Michael Todaro, of a leading text in the field, Economic Development (8th Ed., Addison-Wesley/Pearson, 2002), and has done on-site work in a number of developing countries, including Bangladesh, Ecuador, Egypt, Kenya, India, Peru, and Uganda. He has taught courses on economic development with an emphasis on problems of poverty since 1983.

Best of Broadcasting

GW Vice President for Communications and Professorial Lecturer in Journalism Michael G. Freedman recently made substantial contributions to two new books that are creating a buzz in broadcast newsrooms across the country.

Freedman is a contributing author of the Broadcast Voice Handbook: How to Polish Your On-Air Delivery, fourth edition, by broadcasting voice expert Ann S. Utterback (Bonus Books, 2005). Used in many newsrooms, the book teaches electronic journalists how to get the most out of their voices. Freedman, who has written the foreword of every previous edition of the book, now leaves his imprint on the entire volume. The results of his 2004 Survey of News Managers appear in the book’s appendices.

Freedman also wrote a chapter in Utterback’s newest book, Broadcasting Through Crisis: How to Keep Going When Tragedy Hits (Bonus Books, 2005). The book, which provides broadcasters with the tools to stay healthy and emotionally balanced when covering wars, terrorist events, and everyday tragedies, teaches journalists how to cover crisis events without becoming overwhelmed by them. In his chapter, “War Stories,” Freedman provides an overview of war coverage from World War II to the present, drawing on the personal experiences of top luminaries in the field of war reporting, including Walter Cronkite, Richard C. Hottelet, the late George Herman, Liz Trotta, Marvin Kalb, and Cami McCormick.

Freedman is the former general manager of CBS Radio Network News in New York and managing editor for the Broadcast Division of United Press International in Washington. During his 30-year career as a broadcast journalist, network executive, and university administrator, he and his teams have received more than 85 awards for broadcasting excellence.