An American Family: Book summary and reviews of An American Family by Khizr Khan

An American Family

A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice

by Khizr Khan

An American Family by Khizr Khan X
An American Family by Khizr Khan

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Book Summary

This inspiring memoir by the Muslim American Gold Star father and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions. But who was that man, standing beside his wife, extolling the promises and virtues of the U.S. Constitution?

In this urgent and timeless immigrant story, we learn that Khizr Khan has been many things. He was the oldest of ten children born to farmers in Pakistan, and a curious and thoughtful boy who listened rapt as his grandfather recited Rumi beneath the moonlight. He was a university student who read the Declaration of Independence and was awestruck by what might be possible in life. He was a hopeful suitor, awkwardly but earnestly trying to win the heart of a woman far out of his league. He was a brilliant and diligent young family man who worked two jobs to save enough money to put himself through Harvard Law School. He was a loving father who, having instilled in his children the ideals that brought him and his wife to America - the sense of shared dignity and mutual responsibility - tragically lost his son, an Army captain killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq. He was and is a patriot, and a fierce advocate for the rights, dignities, and values enshrined in the American system.

An American Family shows us who Khizr Khan and millions of other American immigrants are, and why - especially in these tumultuous times - we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Khan's aspirational memoir reminds us all why Americans should welcome newcomers from all lands." - Kirkus

"I'd like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Khan: Thank you for immigrating to America. We're a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation - and he will never be forgotten." - Senator John McCain

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More Information

Khizr Khan, the eldest of ten children, was born in rural Pakistan in 1950. He moved to the United States with his wife, Ghazala, in 1980. The couple became American citizens and raised their three sons in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their middle son, U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan, a graduate of the University of Virginia and its Army ROTC program, was killed in 2004 while stopping a suicide attack near Baqubah, Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Khizr Khan holds a B.A. degree from the University of the Punjab, an LL.B. from Punjab University Law College, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the District of Columbia Bar, the New York State Bar, and the American Bar Association. Khan's law practice includes complex civil litigation, electronic discovery, health privacy compliance law, and civil rights and veterans' rights advocacy. He and Ghazala live in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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