G1205 American Dreamer; How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America

Title of the book: American Dreamer; How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America 

Author: Tim Tran (Tran Manh Khiem) Tom Fields-Meyer

Publisher: Pacific University Press

Publishing Date: 2020

ISBN: 978-1-945398-02-5


"American Dreamer" is an inspirational, first-hand account of the motivating power of an immigrant’s dream for a better life. From the rural Vietnam of Tim Tran’s childhood to his eventual escape to America and his rise as CFO of a multi-billion-dollar company, Tran’s memoir is a lesson in perseverance and ingenuity. After he initially left Vietnam in 1970 to attend American universities on a USAID scholarship, Tran’s sense of commitment led him home shortly before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Suspected of being a CIA agent, he found life under Communism increasingly difficult and dangerous, and was forced to flee. During multiple attempts to escape, he encountered deceit, betrayal, and even murder. Finally, in 1979 Tran and his wife, Cathy, escaped with 350 others in a rickety, overcrowded boat, and faced pirate attacks and months in a Malaysian refugee camp before reaching their new home in Oregon. "American Dreamer" written with passion, unflinching candor, and wit, is an extraordinary debut that confirms the American dream is alive and gives hope to anyone willing to work for a better life. 

Author Info:
(From iReads Book Tour)

Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

In 1970, Tim (Khiem) and Cathy (Thuy) Tran were top international students from South Vietnam who were awarded scholarships to study in the United States. They studied for two years at Pacific University in Oregon, after which Tim pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and Cathy finished her degree at the University of Oregon. Per the conditions of their scholarships, the two returned to South Vietnam in 1974. When Saigon was overrun by communist forces in 1975, the family endured great hardships. In 1979, Tim and Cathy managed to escape via boat. After a harrowing, life-threating voyage they were placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia.

Eventually the Trans were able to immigrate to the United States and became naturalized citizens in 1986. Tim went on to become the Chief Financial Officer of Johnstone Supply, and Cathy worked for U.S. Bank, then Standard Insurance, and became an accounting manager. In 2017, the Trans established a Library Endowment Fund at Pacific University. In honor of their gift, the library building on the Pacific University Forest Grove campus was dedicated as the Tim and Cathy Tran Library.

Connect with the author: website

Personal Opinion:

Amidst the turmoil and reckoning of races over this year, quite often we forget about the good things that one can do in America, or of how its possible to succeed and supersede one's origins. In other words, this is a story that is opposite of the immigration narratives I encountered this year. Tim Tran (Tran Mahn Khiem) was born in 1950s in Vietnam and from the outset grew to love the values that we espouse: education, kindness and networking will lead to American dream, and in his case this is what happened.  It can definitely be described as a Cinderella tale and I honestly wished I could have gotten his book more than ten years ago, because while it is an autobiography/memoir, the story also contains wonderful tales of friendship, and of how to behave in a job setting; something that a lot of younger generations forget to do, I should add. 

This is for iRead Book Tours

Jun 18 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jun 19 Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jun 22 –T's Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway
Jun 22 - My Fictional Oasis - author interview
Jun 22 - My Fictional Oasis - book spotlight / book review / giveaway
Jun 23 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Jun 24 –Pick A Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jun 24 - Lamon Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jun 25 –Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Jun 28 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Jul 1 –Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Jul 2 –Svetlanas reads and views – book review
Jul 2 – Books and Zebras – book review / giveaway
Jul 3 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jul 6 –The avid reader – book spotlight / giveaway
Jul 7 –Mowgli with a book – book review / giveaway
Jul 7 - Connie's History Classroom - book review
Jul 8 – Books for Books – book review
TBD –La libreria di Beppe - book spotlight / giveaway

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


  1. Hello Svetlana,
    This is author Tim Tran. I would like to thank you for spending your valuable time to post your review/comments on my book "American Dreamer--How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America. Much appreciated. Have a great day. Tim Tran


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review of 'Till Morning Comes by Suyin Han

Best of 2019

G1189 Book Review of Stefans Promise by Sam Rennick