An American Family : A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice
by Khizr Khan

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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.

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More About An American Family by Khizr Khan
Click Here For the Autographed Copy
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.

  • ISBN-13: 9780399592492
  • ISBN-10: 0399592490
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: October 2017
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - General
Books > Social Science > Emigration & Immigration
Books > Family & Relationships > Military Families

BookPage Reviews

Citizen Khan

Few would disagree that the climax of the 2016 Democratic National Convention was when Khizr Khan, a Gold Star Father, held up his copy of the U.S. Constitution and challenged Donald Trump to read it. It was an audacious gesture that was grounded in firmly held conviction. Regardless of one’s politics, there was something profoundly admirable about this man.

In his eloquent memoir, An American Family, Khan retraces the steps that brought him from his grandfather’s house in Pakistan to the stage of the Democratic National Convention. His grandfather instilled in Khan a compassionate morality that is firmly rooted in Islam. Throughout his life, his grandfather’s wisdom guided Khan. It sustained him through his struggle for an education; his lyrical romance with his wife, Ghazala; his single-minded determination to succeed in America; and, ultimately, his grief at the death of his beloved son, Captain Humayun Khan, who sacrificed his life while protecting others from a suicide bomber.

Khan opens his book by describing his first encounter with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution while he was a law student in Lahore, Pakistan. The documents’ assertion of inalienable rights and equality resonated with Khan, who lived in a society that promised neither. He never doubted the promise of the words he read in Lahore.

Khan’s story is both unique and archetypal. Like generations of immigrants before them, the Khans sacrificed in order to achieve the American Dream. They became citizens and raised their three sons to be good men. When Humayun joined the Army, the Khans, although fearful, respected his commitment to his country.

Sometimes it takes a newcomer to point out the beauty that old-timers take for granted. America, more than any other country, was founded upon ideals: individual freedoms, equal protection and due process of law. Khan reminds us that these ideals are worth fighting—and even dying—for. The Khans truly are the most American of families.


This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews