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This inspiring memoir by the Gold Star parent and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream and why-especially in these tumultuous times-we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most. An American Family is an intensely personal story about the nature of true patriotism and what it's like to risk This inspiring memoir by the Gold Star parent and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream and why-especially in these tumultuous times-we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most. An American Family is an intensely personal story about the nature of true patriotism and what it's like to risk everything you know for the promise of a 226-year-old piece of parchment. As Khizr Khan traces his remarkable journey--from humble beginnings on a poultry farm in Pakistan to obtaining a degree from Harvard Law School and raising a family in America--he shows what it means to leave the limitations of one's country behind for the best values and promises of another. He also tells the story of the Khans' middle child, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq, and the ways in which their undying pride in him and his sacrifice have helped them endure the deepest despair a parent can know. The book is a stark depiction of what an American looks like, what being a nation of immigrants really means, and what it is to live-rather than simply to pay lip service to-our ideals. 11 hours 18 minutes


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This inspiring memoir by the Gold Star parent and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream and why-especially in these tumultuous times-we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most. An American Family is an intensely personal story about the nature of true patriotism and what it's like to risk This inspiring memoir by the Gold Star parent and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream and why-especially in these tumultuous times-we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most. An American Family is an intensely personal story about the nature of true patriotism and what it's like to risk everything you know for the promise of a 226-year-old piece of parchment. As Khizr Khan traces his remarkable journey--from humble beginnings on a poultry farm in Pakistan to obtaining a degree from Harvard Law School and raising a family in America--he shows what it means to leave the limitations of one's country behind for the best values and promises of another. He also tells the story of the Khans' middle child, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq, and the ways in which their undying pride in him and his sacrifice have helped them endure the deepest despair a parent can know. The book is a stark depiction of what an American looks like, what being a nation of immigrants really means, and what it is to live-rather than simply to pay lip service to-our ideals. 11 hours 18 minutes

30 review for An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I have never cried reading a book. Never. Until now. Khizr Khan is an exceptional writer and his life story is simply incredible. Its uplifting, powerful, humble, gracious and deserving of attention. Khizr Khan is a wise man, a patriotic man, a man of faith. He has struggled and worked hard and changed the world in a significant way. His story deserves to be read, acknowledged, appreciated. I want to thank him and his wife Ghazala. I want to shake their hands, give them big, huge squeezy hugs, I have never cried reading a book. Never. Until now. Khizr Khan is an exceptional writer and his life story is simply incredible. It’s uplifting, powerful, humble, gracious and deserving of attention. Khizr Khan is a wise man, a patriotic man, a man of faith. He has struggled and worked hard and changed the world in a significant way. His story deserves to be read, acknowledged, appreciated. I want to thank him and his wife Ghazala. I want to shake their hands, give them big, huge squeezy hugs, and cry with them. This story is so uplifting, it will make you feel like you can accomplish anything. You can be the better person even if that’s the harder choice to make. This family has chosen honor above all else, and I deeply respect them. I absolutely 100% recommend this book. It is simply astounding in every way. I am so glad I read this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest "Stay strong. Stay safe." He said that he would (153). We live in a polarized America right now. One half fights for progress, and the other half appears to be actively trying to drag us backwards towards a nostalgic vision of the past that never quite existed. One of the aspects of this current political climate that disgusts me to no end is the fact that the right has capitalized on the hate and prejudice of a few in order to secure the Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest "Stay strong. Stay safe." He said that he would (153). We live in a polarized America right now. One half fights for progress, and the other half appears to be actively trying to drag us backwards towards a nostalgic vision of the past that never quite existed. One of the aspects of this current political climate that disgusts me to no end is the fact that the right has capitalized on the hate and prejudice of a few in order to secure the support and foment the rallying cry of their base. Racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia - whether overtly or through careful dog-whistling, this election has allowed for some truly hateful thoughts and opinions to become the mainstream. That is perhaps the greatest tragedy of all. A person can, strange as it seems, love America and simultaneously believe America does not love Muslims, that it is foundationally anti-Islamic (171). When I saw Khizr Khan's memoir on Netgalley, I knew I had to have it. If the name sounds vaguely familiar to you, it is because the Khans are the grieving parents of a soldier who died during the Iraq War who Trump decided to feud with, as he has decided to feud with many. Khizr gave the speech, and Trump, disgustingly, suggested that his wife, Ghazala, was silent because she was not allowed to speak, alluding to that sexist and racist stereotype of the "oppressed" Muslim woman. AN AMERICAN FAMILY discusses this to some extent, but mostly in the last dozen pages or so. The bulk of this short memoir is about the Khan family. They are truly incredible people. Ghazala is the descendant of Afghani royalty that later became exiled, and her grandfather was a famous poet whose works she studied for her Master's in college. Khizr was the son of Pakistani farmers, who studied law first in the Middle East, and later attended Harvard while living paycheck to paycheck. There was so much about this memoir that I loved. His courtship with Ghazala is as grand and sweeping as a romance, and their love for one another pours from the pages. As he moves through life, he applies the tenets of Islam and his own diligent work ethic to everything he does, treating those in need with compassion even when he has nothing of his own, and taking the opportunities that are given to him. His journey is the Horatio Alger myth: the epitome of the American dream. I landed in Houston in late 1979 carrying a single silver Samsonite suitcase and $200 in my pocket, which is the kind of detail every immigrant remembers to include, decades after the fact, when he's telling the story of how he came to make a success of himself in America (85). Of course, knowing the end to the story of this loving, humanitarian family makes the good parts even harder to swallow. When Khan talks about Humayun, tears welled in my eyes, and they were not dry again until the end of the book. While researching further reading to suggest at the bottom of my review, I watched his speech for the first time - the one that catapulted him into the public eye and made him the target of Trump's wrath - and I began crying all over again. War is always a tragedy, visceral and bloody evidence that all other options have failed. And yet it is often discomfortingly popular (150). Anyone who says that Muslims are, by nature, anti-American, should be forced to read this book. It is a book written by someone who loves this country so much that he keeps a pocket-sized version of the Constitution in his pocket, and believes in its fundamental goodness with the same faith that propels him to do so much kindness in the world. Khizr Khan makes me want to do better; he makes me want to have faith. All of us are connected, woven into an unfathomable tapestry, each thin strand a necessary part of the whole. I believe every person, no matter his station, should be afforded the dignity of kings (88). Suggested further reading: Capt. Humayun Khan, whose grieving parents have been criticized by Trump, was ‘a soldier’s officer’ (The Washington Post) Muslims in the Military: The Few, the Proud, the Welcome (The New York Times) Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 4.5 to 5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily Davenport

    Nope. Six Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you are a thoughtful, breathing American, please read this book. For an even more emotional and unforgettable experience, LISTEN to Mr. Khan retell his story of coming to America from Pakistan and gather a beach-towel sized handkerchief to absorb your tears as tells the story of his son's ultimate sacrifice for America. And then when you are finished, buy a pocket US Constitution and get to work making sure that America is a safe and loving and equal home to anyone who Nope. Six Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If you are a thoughtful, breathing American, please read this book. For an even more emotional and unforgettable experience, LISTEN to Mr. Khan retell his story of coming to America from Pakistan and gather a beach-towel sized handkerchief to absorb your tears as tells the story of his son's ultimate sacrifice for America. And then when you are finished, buy a pocket US Constitution and get to work making sure that America is a safe and loving and equal home to anyone who wants to come here for a better life. I am still processing the emotions from this book, so a longer review may follow. But this book is one that is so desperately needed right now. Rarely do I read a book where I want to get on all the social things and tell my friends to read this book. So what are you waiting for?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, lost a son who swore an oath to defend them, because I come from a place where they do not exist. If I could give this book and Mr. Khan more than 5 stars I would do so in a heartbeat. “I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, lost a son who swore an oath to defend them, because I come from a place where they do not exist.” If I could give this book and Mr. Khan more than 5 stars I would do so in a heartbeat.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie Christiano

    I will never forget this this author, his family, their son Captain Humayun Khan, and their story. This story of Khizir's life and love for this country and its ideals will take your breath away. Astounding in every way. I ask that you read this incredible work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    Khizr Khan is a gifted memoirist and his family's American life is a revelation! Unfortunately, it also illuminates how model minority myths will never keep us safe from white supremacist harm.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McPhedran

    I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, lost a son who swore an oath to defend them, because I come from a place where they do not exist." Khizr Khan may be a familiar face from the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He spoke eloquently about his love for the US Constitution, and his love for his son. His son, Humayun Khan was an officer in the US Army and was killed in action in I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, lost a son who swore an oath to defend them, because I come from a place where they do not exist." Khizr Khan may be a familiar face from the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He spoke eloquently about his love for the US Constitution, and his love for his son. His son, Humayun Khan was an officer in the US Army and was killed in action in 2004. Khan was a Pakistani born lawyer. He has been a citizen of the United States for over thirty years. His love of the founding principles of our country truly shine through in this beautiful book. He is so wonderfully eloquent in his immigration story. His story is so similar to so many other immigration stories, and I feel like it humanizes these people that just want to come and make a better lives for themselves. This book is truly phenomenal, and I feel like it is a very timely read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

    Oh my. I am moved beyond words by this memoir of a modest man of humble origins who moved to the United States from Pakistan to further his education, became a citizen, and now reminds us all of the gift it is to live in America. He writes: "I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, because I came from a place where they do not exist." He is, of course, the father of one of 14 Oh my. I am moved beyond words by this memoir of a modest man of humble origins who moved to the United States from Pakistan to further his education, became a citizen, and now reminds us all of the gift it is to live in America. He writes: "I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, because I came from a place where they do not exist." He is, of course, the father of one of 14 Muslim-American soldiers to die in defense of our country since 9/11, and he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Perhaps it takes someone from "away" to point out the virtues that we American-born citizens can take so easily for granted.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hasso von Moltke

    This is an exceptional short work by Harvard graduate, immigrant, gold star father Mr. Khizr Khan. Mr. Khan has written a moving and poignant book on his family's trials and tribulations from his humble origins in Pakistan, to his success in the United States. Intermixed with the narrative is an appeal to the ideals of the founders of the United States. This is largely an apolitical work, in spite of Mr. Khan's speech at the Democratic National Convention. While Pakistani politics are often This is an exceptional short work by Harvard graduate, immigrant, gold star father Mr. Khizr Khan. Mr. Khan has written a moving and poignant book on his family's trials and tribulations from his humble origins in Pakistan, to his success in the United States. Intermixed with the narrative is an appeal to the ideals of the founders of the United States. This is largely an apolitical work, in spite of Mr. Khan's speech at the Democratic National Convention. While Pakistani politics are often criticized, the only American politician lambasted is President Trump, and even then only briefly, near the end of the final chapter. Mr. Khan speaks often of his admiration for President Reagan and Senator McCain throughout the work. Secretary Clinton mostly receives passing mention near the end of the book when her campaign contacted Mr. Khan. The meat of the book is the saga of Mr. Khan: from his humble origins in Pakistan, his struggle to get by at the university and court an his faithful wife. Their journey to Dubai, then Texas. Even after making it to the United States Mr. Khan tells of the great lengths he went to so that he could provide for his family. The most moving part of the book is when he describes raising his sons, and the death of one of those sons, Captain Humayun Khan, in Iraq. He goes from initial denial and grief, to the measures that the family took to preserve Humayun's legacy. The final pages of the book describe how he and his family dealt came to the Democratic National Convention, rewriting and rehearsing the speech, and trying to create a concise and moving appeal to the American people. All in all, Mr. Khan has crafted an excellent work to remind Americans that our hallowed ideals are worth standing up for, fighting for, and, if necessary, dieing for.

  10. 5 out of 5

    LemonLinda

    What an inspiring read! Would that all Americans had such sincere love of country and admiration for American ideals and principles as this Gold Star family, the Khans. Mr. Khans love for the words of our founding fathers and his respect and ultimate awareness of equal protection under the law, the rule of law and political, religious and economic freedoms even in the face of increasing prejudice against Muslims is admirable. Their entire family including that of Captain Humayun Khan, their son What an inspiring read! Would that all Americans had such sincere love of country and admiration for American ideals and principles as this Gold Star family, the Khans. Mr. Khan’s love for the words of our founding fathers and his respect and ultimate awareness of equal protection under the law, the rule of law and political, religious and economic freedoms even in the face of increasing prejudice against Muslims is admirable. Their entire family including that of Captain Humayun Khan, their son earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, marks the epitome of those who unfailingly work to achieve the American dream. I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Khan’s inspiring words at a book event last fall and was so in awe of his courage, so I was confident that the words found within these pages would further inspire by telling the story of his dreams, his struggles, his successes, but most of all of his unwillingness to lose his vision of America as a “shining city on a hill”. I end this book with even more admiration for him. He showcases for us the best that America has to offer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Wilson

    This book is where cynicism goes to die. Mr. and Mrs. Khan are remarkable people and remarkable Americans, and Mr. Khan's understated, plain-spoken memoir is a welcome corrective to most of what passes for patriotism in this political climate.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hai Quan

    I am a rather above average when it comes to being emotional reading about great sacrify of heroes who knew fully well the eventual end of their earthly existence once they chose to start or join an armed or political struggle to regain their countries ' sacred sovereignty and their compatriots' honors and to kick the sorry asses of foreign invaders. It is a much used , tattered descriptive word but l have been more often in the brink of tear when I read pages of history that described the above I am a rather above average when it comes to being emotional reading about great sacrify of heroes who knew fully well the eventual end of their earthly existence once they chose to start or join an armed or political struggle to regain their countries ' sacred sovereignty and their compatriots' honors and to kick the sorry asses of foreign invaders. It is a much used , tattered descriptive word but l have been more often in the brink of tear when I read pages of history that described the above mentioned sacrify or even the words signify highest ideals ,noblest aspiration can be found in the Constitution and the. Declarations of the U S:.......Unalienable....self-evidence....WE THE PEOPLE.....equal......and similar words never failed to ignite hight emotion in my heart However while I have great admiration for the author of this memoir for his unyelding spirit to fight against all odds to reach his goal of better life materialy I have a big reservation in assessing his ,OBJECTIVITY and his clearheadedness in his participation in the Reagan ruling gang. All because he has the misfortune of ,due to his place of birth , not being exposed to the concept of QUAN TU ,the ENLIGHTEN ONE that the Chinese sages espoused (and later the Vietnamese adopted).... (Please be referred to my review of MY AMERICAN JOURNEY by Collin Powell ) There are three tenets: First : NO to wealth and MATERIALISM . ( because they corrupt) Second : WILL NOT CHANGE EVEN WHILE BEING DESTITUTE (can't be bought,holding tightly to.pirinciple) Third: WILL NOT YIELD EVEN UNDER OVERWHELMING PHYSICAL MENACE Alas ,the author by virtue of his ignorance of these great Oriental most esteemed value, has failed , in my humble opinion , to attain a n admirable legacy and while he has successfully to gain a high level of material comfortability, has failed to achieved an honorable and inspiring spiritual life . I know, it is too wordy! But beneath all that hairy words is this simple fact. : Professor Khan has sold his otherwise pure soul to the Devil , Emperor Reagan. Why so ? What is the different between this former screen -actor - turn-Prez and all of his predecessors and successors? Practically they are and were all very much the same with some small variable .They are and were the sory products of a very corrupt political system where only the filthy riches can rise to the top of the heap by the dirty trick of this legal bribery : big Mafia boss and The Corporations buy off their Honorable Servants with the very ill smelled,blood soaked CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS . To make it briefly , they represent no one but themselves and their Masters who have the habit of wearing dark glasses and will NEVER TALK. IS it any wonder that they served only theirs and their MAFIA BOSSES ' interests ? Any wonder they have always waged wars, moved their biz's offshore to avoid taxes , raised taxes but paid no taxes themselves and made all laws that served themselves but gave us serfs THE SHAFT ? So what has the professor done in this given scenerio ? You guessed it correctly my friends, OF COURSE HE JOINED 'EM Principle be damn Concience be damn He has forgotten his root that not long time ago was embedded into the soil of his former country of birth at a region where all the Emperors used the dirty trick of Divide To Rule ,using one group against another group , sold or given weapon to 'em dumb Arabians to kill each other and during the melee SUCKED 'EM OIL.! Khan should have known that the CONSTITUTION OF THE U S OF A and THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE provide to all human beings the unalienable right of being EQUAL with all other human beings regardless of all and any considerations.If a citizent of the U S OF A must not be shot ,bombed.,bayoneted or otherwise killed without all due processes have been exhausted and after his or her pleas for clemency has been denied THEN ALL HUMAN BEINGS must be afforded the same treatment regardless of any and all considerations If we observe. this rule of the highest Law of the land then all of the U S foreign policies , including REAGAN 'S which was reeked with the odour of decomposed corpses of the people of color MUST BE RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL Mr Khan should have known that Did he raise the issue in his address to.the NDC or by any other means at his disposal.? Clearly he hasn't Ah , the former- movie- actor --turned-movie-director -turned Prez was making a movie but this time he USED NO BLANKS,BUT REAL BULETS! and 'em actors were really kill or to be killed. The only big problem was the Professor didn't read the script carefully.The script did not call for his son's participation as a real soldier .No other noble send his or her offspring to war Had he did ,his son wouldn't have been killed and he wouldn't have been the reluctant and dubious hero in his own autobiography Had him regcognised the wickedness of the U S government 's imperialism he would have done something about it within his capacity as a citizen or an elected or appointed official or at the very least he could have prevented his son joining the army thus saved him from the untimely death There is this cruel possibility : What if the gun and the bullet that killed his son is made in the USA , was supplied to the Taliban or some other groups to fight the invading RUSSIAN TROOP by no other one than REAGAN in his evil scheme of World Dominion that SERVE ONLY THE EMPEROR,HIS COURT,HIS BACKERS( U S CORPORATIONS) , HIS Family and BUDDIES .......AT THE COST OF MILLIONS OF DEAD , Injury , DESTRUCTION TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES and even with blood of American youths ............ and then this gun was turned around and fired at the US troop who also invaded this country under the same evil agenda mentioned earlier. Actually this was the discovery of many reporters.:this Reagan 's blunder was the cause that gave birth to the jihad movement in this region .It has the up and down but it has been persisting until now. Reagan has opened the floodgate of waves after waves of jihad with no end in sight No wonder why the Chinese sages had intoned so wisely : WEALTH CORUPTS No wonder the vow of poverty was adopted by many mandarins as a way to preserve their crystal clear , most esteemed virtuous personas and legacies Professor Khan, it is too late now to get your son back to life but you are the one to be blamed for your son's misfortune Had you hadn't sold your soul to the devil , your beloved son would have been still alive. Professor Khan .I feel very sad for you,,losing a son is the most painful experience ..I wish I know you earlier when he is still alive, then may be, just may be you will see the wickedness of expansionism ,vikingism (my newest coinage ,hoping it will be accepted into common usage) , imperialism and neo-colonialism exercising by Emperor Reagan and all of the past and future Viking Honchos (A MENACE FOR WORLD PEACE AND STABILITY..) Further you might be, just might be convinced by me that running with bad crowd risking GETTING HURT , and might be , just might be you wouldn't have allowed your son to join the mercenary as he did with that fatal consequence Too bad.......too late......not much can be done......now My sincerest condolence May God rest your beloved son's soul.Believe me .I shed my tears over this human folly and wickedness. Note: I do not know if Khan teach d in college. But I gave him the title of professor. Why? Can't offer you a logical answer other than : It sounds nice!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I won this book on Goodreads. This book was tough to get through and after 150 pages I just skimmed the rest. I found I was disinterested in it all. This isn't a political book but the politics that the author talks about are all wrong. I liked the part about liking Reagan but he misconstrues Trump's words. The author says that it is unconstitutional to ban Muslims, first of all not all Muslims were being banned, secondly it was only a temporary ban of just 3 months and yes it is constitutional. I won this book on Goodreads. This book was tough to get through and after 150 pages I just skimmed the rest. I found I was disinterested in it all. This isn't a political book but the politics that the author talks about are all wrong. I liked the part about liking Reagan but he misconstrues Trump's words. The author says that it is unconstitutional to ban Muslims, first of all not all Muslims were being banned, secondly it was only a temporary ban of just 3 months and yes it is constitutional. Presidents do have that authority, he wasn't banning them based on religion but by Sharia law which is the basis of a government not religion. Obama did the same thing banning Iraqi's for 6 months. The media will tell you otherwise and say that the two bans can't compare, but stop the spin! Also the author refers to inalienable rights coming from man and basically we have none because of that, no, inalienable means that they come from God and they cannot be taken away by any man --that man/government cannot take or transfer your rights away like a government can. This is the intent of the founding fathers. I know this is a proof which is unedited but the chapter at the end is totally blank as well and there are some capitalization problems in the beginning of the book. Why put out a book that is incomplete. Very disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Yingling

    I'm proud to call Khizr Kahn a fellow American. He, and his family, embody all that this county is, or should be. His son Humayun was a true hero, and I can't even imagine the feelings Mr. Khan and his family experienced when Humayun was killed in action. Mr. Khan's life is an example of surmounting the odds, becoming successful in life, and passing on all the best values of a human being to his children and to the people he met. This book is extraordinarily moving and inspirational. I listened I'm proud to call Khizr Kahn a fellow American. He, and his family, embody all that this county is, or should be. His son Humayun was a true hero, and I can't even imagine the feelings Mr. Khan and his family experienced when Humayun was killed in action. Mr. Khan's life is an example of surmounting the odds, becoming successful in life, and passing on all the best values of a human being to his children and to the people he met. This book is extraordinarily moving and inspirational. I listened to the book on CD, read by Mr. Khan, and that in itself was a most memorable experience. I hope to read over 100 books this year, and this title will be a strong candidate to be the at the very least in the top 5. I'm leaning toward thinking that every American should not only carry with them a copy of our Constitution, as Mr. Khan does, but be required to read, or listen to, this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Clark

    Mr. Khan has a literary gift of expression that conveys the emotional immediacy of his experiences. As ordinary as the incidents of his past appear to be related through a Pakistani youth, education, marriage, and immigration to the United States they contain the seeds of an acute awareness and striving to serve others. In passing these sentiments on to his own family, he demonstrates a richness of character, even though it asks of them the ultimate sacrifice, the death of his middle son Mr. Khan has a literary gift of expression that conveys the emotional immediacy of his experiences. As ordinary as the incidents of his past appear to be – related through a Pakistani youth, education, marriage, and immigration to the United States – they contain the seeds of an acute awareness and striving to serve others. In passing these sentiments on to his own family, he demonstrates a richness of character, even though it asks of them the ultimate sacrifice, the death of his middle son Humayun as he served in the U.S. military during the Iraq war. Khan’s book touches on the crippling grief that descends on a family with such a loss, but it is also a guidepost for engaging the awareness and striving that matures from these events to higher ends. This is wisdom teaching at its most inspirational.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    4.5 This book was filled with dignity, humanity, sacrifice, hope, heartache, the true meaning of the American Dream and most importantly love. Mr. Khan is the embodiment of what our country is supposed to be during a time when so many people are searching for answers about what it often looks like we have become. Listening to him as he described his love of family and of the United States was a true pleasure even though the story occasionally slowed down a little. It is a book that will 4.5 This book was filled with dignity, humanity, sacrifice, hope, heartache, the true meaning of the American Dream and most importantly love. Mr. Khan is the embodiment of what our country is supposed to be during a time when so many people are searching for answers about what it often looks like we have become. Listening to him as he described his love of family and of the United States was a true pleasure even though the story occasionally slowed down a little. It is a book that will definitely stay with me and it was an honor to be given a window into the lives of such a wonderful family.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heidi McQuay

    "So what if you are thirsty? Always be a river for everyone." A very inspiring story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Farnoosh Brock

    Beyond thankful that I stumbled upon this unforgettable memoir. I tore into it. My eyes were stinging from reading (and crying) late into the night. I am indebted to Khizr Khan for telling this story for so many reasons. Pakistan is not far from Iran where I was born and raised and later moved to America. I could relate to so much of the culture, family values, traditions and ways of living as well as the oppressive government and the unfathomable daily injustices in one's homeland, and how, for Beyond thankful that I stumbled upon this unforgettable memoir. I tore into it. My eyes were stinging from reading (and crying) late into the night. I am indebted to Khizr Khan for telling this story for so many reasons. Pakistan is not far from Iran where I was born and raised and later moved to America. I could relate to so much of the culture, family values, traditions and ways of living as well as the oppressive government and the unfathomable daily injustices in one's homeland, and how, for all those very reasons, America is a place of so much hope and gratitude and love by us immigrants. Khizr Kkhan's writing voice is EXQUISITE! His hard-earned and thorough education comes through in his powerful expressions. His humility, his courage, his incredible sacrifices and how he has given back. I was so touched by the countless volunteering efforts his family would make even when they were barely getting by, and this, no doubt as a result of those who had compassion on him when he was in a rough patch, and rough patches he has seen and been through no doubt. The story of Khan's son, Humayun, is sad and profound. I learned so much from the way this fallen soldier lived his short life, and I am almost ashamed at how little I am doing in my life to impact others who are less fortunate. This book has made me realize this gap that needs to close, this yearning to help others and to uphold the values that make our country so very great. Khan's story is not another immigrant coming to America. Yes, there are parallels in all who seek this land for a place to fulfill dreams that are mere fantasies if pursued in their homeland. Yet, Khan's story highlights the American values on a whole new level, and the sacrifices of his son, as a Muslim and a proud American, for his country prove that beyond mere words. And Khan's love of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution was exactly the type of hope and reminder we need to continue loving America, no matter what she is going through! An American Family is a reminder of all the good in all people, and a way to help us eradicate prejudice from the root. Favorite passage: "That is not an academic conclusion, a concept I memorized from books on the law or philosophy. Rather, I understand it honestly, organically. I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not. I embraced American freedoms, raised my children to cherish and revere them, lost a son who swore an oath to defend them, because I come from a place where they do not exist. I can perhaps see more clearly the blessings of America because they were once new to me. And because I hold those freedoms so dear, I often find myself explaining them to others, to make my passion for America theirs, as well." This is a must-read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mystica

    Immigrant stories have always appealed to me. My three children are themselves immigrants and every success story which is full of happiness and success brings a lot of happiness to me personally as well as I know it echoes my own wishes for my own children. This story which propelled one family into prominence through the sad death of their son is no exception. Like most immigrants the Khans were hard working, god fearing, simple folk. The fact that they were Muslim was incidental to the entire Immigrant stories have always appealed to me. My three children are themselves immigrants and every success story which is full of happiness and success brings a lot of happiness to me personally as well as I know it echoes my own wishes for my own children. This story which propelled one family into prominence through the sad death of their son is no exception. Like most immigrants the Khans were hard working, god fearing, simple folk. The fact that they were Muslim was incidental to the entire issue. That their son was a Muslim who worked in the American forces and was killed in the line of duty is also a fact. That the situation was politicized for someone's gain is shameful. The title of the book says it all. The Khans brought up their sons the American way, with strong beliefs in the power of justice and equality for all. The parents were strong supportive parents in no way radicalized or partial towards a single group of people. The story of their lives was of huge interest and the way the story unfolds is beautiful. Mr. Khan Snr spoke up for what he felt was right and he was pilloried and his family was reviled for that. He must be admired that he still believes in what he said and stands up for what is right. From very humble beginnings in Pakistan to Harvard is no easy feat. He and his wife also brought up their children with very ethical and moral understandings and the memoir is a testimony to that. I loved this book and the story of the Khans.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Wow. I cried twice while reading this book. Its touching and poignant and left me thinking that Khizr Khan is, without a doubt, a better American than I am. But the strength of this memoir is that rather than leaving me feeling condemned, I finished this book feeling both humbled that I get to share my country with upstanding citizens like the Khans and inspired to become a better American myself. This memoir offers such a valuable perspective as the United States continues to debate what kind Wow. I cried twice while reading this book. It’s touching and poignant and left me thinking that Khizr Khan is, without a doubt, a better American than I am. But the strength of this memoir is that rather than leaving me feeling condemned, I finished this book feeling both humbled that I get to share my country with upstanding citizens like the Khans and inspired to become a better American myself. This memoir offers such a valuable perspective as the United States continues to debate what kind of country it wants to be. If 2017 has you feeling pessimistic, let 'An American Family' remind you what REAL American patriotism looks like in this day and age.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Read an advance review copy. This is a quick but worthwhile read, and a timely rebuke to the country who elected Trump.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Reem Mohsen

    An American Family is so much more than an autobiography of Khizr Khan. The reader will learn about the history, culture and mores of Pakistan, the importance of family: past, present and future, of love and overwhelming loss, of hunger, homelessness, poverty and of the unslakable thirst for knowledge. It is primarily a story of an immigrant coming to the United States because he knew both intellectually and spiritually, that it offered the best chance for a life of dignity, justice, equality An American Family is so much more than an autobiography of Khizr Khan. The reader will learn about the history, culture and mores of Pakistan, the importance of family: past, present and future, of love and overwhelming loss, of hunger, homelessness, poverty and of the unslakable thirst for knowledge. It is primarily a story of an immigrant coming to the United States because he knew both intellectually and spiritually, that it offered the best chance for a life of dignity, justice, equality and personal fulfillment. As a first year student of law in Lahore, Mr. Khan was jolted to his very core by the words of the Declaration of Independence. He was electrified by the safeguards codified for all citizens in the US Constitution and that this document was amendable as the times warranted. But this book is also a clarion call to remind us that we have the responsibility to safeguard the legacy of America's founding fathers. We must rally against any effort to deny fundamental rights and freedoms to all and to encourage and protect those seeking an opportunity to come to the USA for a better life. To quote Mr. Kahn, "I am an American patriot not because I was born here, but because I was not ...When you live somewhere where fundamental dignity and equality do not exist, it is all you yearn for."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woofter

    Wow. This book is so beautiful and well-written that I kept flipping to the front cover to see if I was missing a "written with". But no, Khizr Khan is a scrappy immigrant, Harvard-educated lawyer, powerful public speaker, and eloquent writer who speaks several languages and lives a life of principle and generosity. Leave some for the rest of us, Khizr! I took two things away from this book: 1) I want to be a better American. The way that Mr. Khan writes about American ideals makes you want to Wow. This book is so beautiful and well-written that I kept flipping to the front cover to see if I was missing a "written with". But no, Khizr Khan is a scrappy immigrant, Harvard-educated lawyer, powerful public speaker, and eloquent writer who speaks several languages and lives a life of principle and generosity. Leave some for the rest of us, Khizr! I took two things away from this book: 1) I want to be a better American. The way that Mr. Khan writes about American ideals makes you want to live up to them. 2) I want to be a better parent. The deliberateness with which this man and his wife raised their kids makes me want to think less about getting through the day and more about shaping the character of my children. Okay, 3 things. The third is that this book reinforces my idea of a one-in, one-0ut immigration policy. I would gladly trade Kid Rock, all of the Trumps, and Stephen Miller for the hard-working members of Khizr Khan's family who came here through "chain migration".

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Orlopp

    Incredible true story of a Pakistan immigrant who came to America and continually learned and applied himself to make a better life for his family. His son was a captain in the US Army and was unfortunately killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Baghdad in 2004. Hillary Clinton asked the author, Khizr Khan, to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016---more than 11 years after his son had been killed. Khan spoke as a "patriotic American Muslim with undivided loyalty to the U.S." Incredible true story of a Pakistan immigrant who came to America and continually learned and applied himself to make a better life for his family. His son was a captain in the US Army and was unfortunately killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Baghdad in 2004. Hillary Clinton asked the author, Khizr Khan, to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016---more than 11 years after his son had been killed. Khan spoke as a "patriotic American Muslim with undivided loyalty to the U.S." Khan shares his passion and belief for what America stands for and the ideals that were created in our Constitution.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Candy

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book. This was a wonderful memoir of Khizr Khans journey to becoming a US citizen, and his and his familys lives as US citizens. I would have liked to have seen this book remain apolitical, and instead use it to teach some history, impart wisdom, inspire others, and remind them of the things that we take for granted. Mr. Khan certainly made me take an introspective look at myself. That being said, the book becomes very political Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book. This was a wonderful memoir of Khizr Khan’s journey to becoming a US citizen, and his and his family’s lives as US citizens. I would have liked to have seen this book remain apolitical, and instead use it to teach some history, impart wisdom, inspire others, and remind them of the things that we take for granted. Mr. Khan certainly made me take an introspective look at myself. That being said, the book becomes very political toward the end. Mr. Khan doesn’t hide his antipathy toward Donald Trump. (No, I am not a Trump supporter. But I do feel that we, as a country, need to come together and stop all this crazy in-fighting.) I was a bit confused about his political stance. Did he feel Hillary Clinton was a good candidate? Did he embrace her ideals, morals, values, judgment? Or was he just using the Democratic Convention for his purpose. Did he ever feel the Democratic Party was using him in return? The book ended so abruptly, I momentarily thought part of it was missing. I was left with so many questions about what happened in the aftermath of his speech. I wanted to know his motivation behind giving the speech. This was a great book, and even with the strange ending, it is still a very worthwhile read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lorrie

    I am so grateful that I took the time to read this heart felt, intelligent recount of the authors life. His story has instilled in me a great love for our country that, to be honest, at times has nearly been lost due to the current grotesque vaudevillian politician at the helm. Thank you, Mr. Khan, Esquire, for your honesty, bravery & transparency. I am so grateful that I took the time to read this heart felt, intelligent recount of the author’s life. His story has instilled in me a great love for our country that, to be honest, at times has nearly been lost due to the current “grotesque vaudevillian” politician at the helm. Thank you, Mr. Khan, Esquire, for your honesty, bravery & transparency.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Absolutely a Must Read! Congrats to Mr. Khan for giving us a refreshing insight into what America means to those fortunate enough to be able to become a part of our rich heritage. He paints a beautiful picture of another piece that is the collage of American history. Short, sweet, and points well made.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane Montondo

    This is a thoughtful look into the life of a Muslim American who gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be free by growing up in his native country Pakistan. I listened to this audiobook on CD. It was read by the author, which is unusual but has happened before. It gives an authenticity to the content and relays his humility and gratitude.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    Can I give it 10 stars? This was the most touching book I have read in awhile. Eloquent, heartfelt, honest, beautiful. I listened to the audio version which is read by the author. Do not let his somewhat slow reading speed put you off (I assume it was recorded that way for people who struggle to understand English spoken with an accent)...there was something extra special about hearing his family's story in his own words and in his own voice. Every American should read this in order to gain an Can I give it 10 stars? This was the most touching book I have read in awhile. Eloquent, heartfelt, honest, beautiful. I listened to the audio version which is read by the author. Do not let his somewhat slow reading speed put you off (I assume it was recorded that way for people who struggle to understand English spoken with an accent)...there was something extra special about hearing his family's story in his own words and in his own voice. Every American should read this in order to gain an immigrant's perspective of the USA and what true patriotism is. And it's a good backstory to whatever coverage of his DNC speech you heard and reactions that followed. These are incredible people with an incredible story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katy Cronk

    You can view my reviews, book life, and much more at http://thebookishcronk.com. I love, Love, LOVE this book. I got this library hold right at the perfect time. It's primarily the story of Khizr Khan's life, but it's so much more than that. It talks about family and working hard to provide for them. It goes over their immigration journey, how proud they were to become Americans, and how they turned their son's death into a positive thing they could do for other service men and women that were You can view my reviews, book life, and much more at http://thebookishcronk.com. I love, Love, LOVE this book. I got this library hold right at the perfect time. It's primarily the story of Khizr Khan's life, but it's so much more than that. It talks about family and working hard to provide for them. It goes over their immigration journey, how proud they were to become Americans, and how they turned their son's death into a positive thing they could do for other service men and women that were about to graduate. I admire their ability to stay positive when things are tough. If you admired them after Khan held up the Constitution, knowing the journey to that moment makes it very inspiring.

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