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Publisher:
Pacific University Press

Publication Date:
06/20/2020

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1945398025

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
18.99

AMERICAN DREAMER: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America

By Tim Tran with Tom Fields-Meyer

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IR Rating:
5.0
Charming illustrations and historical photographs from the author's personal collection only add to the significant impact of the true life stories contained in AMERICAN DREAMER, Tim Tran's poignant and insightful memoir.
IR Approved
Synopsis:

Normal relations between America and Vietnam were not reestablished until 1995, but well before that fateful day finally arrived, Tran Manh Khiem describes what befell him and his homeland in AMERICAN DREAMER by Tim Tran and Tom Fields-Meyer.

Full Description:

Providing an entirely fresh, first-hand look at cultural issues including immigration, living under a democratic -vs- communist government, and the Vietnam War, AMERICAN DREAMER: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America by Tim Tran (Tran Manh Khiem) with Tom Fields-Meyer, is an unforgettable tour-de-force. In 1962 American President John F. Kennedy provided U.S. Special Forces to train the Southern Vietnamese into an Army of the Republic towards winning their conflict with Northern Vietnam’s Viet Cong and by 1972, President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger were holding peace talks with North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho, making an end to the hostilities seem possible as ever-growing anti-war demonstrations taking place in America caused U.S. troops to be incrementally withdrawn. However by 1974, Nixon was resigning and one by one, communist forces began capturing new Vietnam provinces and cities without intervention by outside nations. For Tran Manh Khiem, who returned to his homeland after years abroad attending western colleges, and for every other resident of South Vietnam, this spelled disaster. From enjoying a well-respected job at a Vietnamese branch of an American petroleum company among motivated coworkers after graduating to becoming the kind of American-educated ‘intellectual’ the new invading communist regime despised and therefore commonly sent to reeducation camps and/or had killed, the author began living on borrowed time, desperate to escape with his fiancé and as much of their extended families as they could get out of the country. Though this, of course, was something the new powers that be strictly forbid.

Told in eight parts with resource references, it is impressive that tales of pleasant years are just as engaging as chapters which detail repeated attempts to flee brutal soldiers, panicking mobs, economic devastation, and vicious pirates once hundreds of frantic refugees including Tran finally make it onto a boat that is meant to safely transport fifty individuals, max. Comparisons such as how differently southern soldiers were treated after America’s own civil war concluded are quite astute. Regardless of what turmoil America has seen or what mistakes have been made under the auspices of democracy, after viewing this country through Tran Manh Khiem’s appreciative eyes and heartfelt words while immersed in his experiences which include friendships spanning many decades, readers are unlikely to continue taking for granted any great nation that is able to provide freedom and opportunity to its inhabitants.

Charming illustrations and historical photographs from the author’s personal collection only add to the significant impact of the true life stories contained in AMERICAN DREAMER, Tim Tran’s poignant and insightful memoir.

~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader

Publisher:
Pacific University Press

Publication Date:
06/20/2020

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1945398025

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
18.99

AMERICAN DREAMER: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America

By Tim Tran with Tom Fields-Meyer

AMERICAN DREAMER, by Tim Tran (with Tom Fields-Meyer) is a powerful memoir about a man immigrating to America from Vietnam. The writing is engaging, honest, and the author has a wry sense of humor. The narrative and descriptions are detailed and captivating, drawing the reader into the heart of the story.