Book Description

Best Indie Book Award

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.


“An exceptional memoir. America Dreamer reminds us why the United States is a beacon of hope around the globe. Tim Tran’s book stirs the heart and reminds us of the sacrifices others make to become Americans. The rest of us would do well to sacrifice far less to help preserve the nation that has been so good to us.”

— Former US Congressman Les AuCoin
Author of Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics


“Oregon history is rich with stories of courageous individuals who overcame tremendous odds. Few stories are more compelling and inspirational, however, than that of Tim Tran. In “American Dreamer,” Tim shares the remarkable journey that brought him from communist Vietnam to personal and professional success in Oregon. It should be required reading for anyone who doubts that the American dream is alive and well.”

Kerry Tymchuck
Executive Director, Oregon Historical Society


“Readers of immigrant stories will find American Dreamer stands out for its sense of purpose, achievement, and ability to capture the promise and opportunities America represents.”

— Midwest Book Review


“… This is a remarkable story of courage, determination and gratitude—one highly recommended for readers seeking an understanding of the risks refugees take to find freedom.”

— BlueInk Review


“… This is a book ALL Americans should read! It applies to much of what is going on now.

This is an outstanding, inspirational true story, written as well as any non-fiction I have ever read! It is so well organized and very easily followed. In spite of unimaginable hardships, he still applies humor and intrigue. A well-written novel could not have been more interesting than this tale!”

LAWonder10, Rockin’ Book Reviews


“…Overall, I absolutely think that everyone should read this book. It was touching and raw, and it opened my eyes…”

My Fictional Oasis


“…American Dreamer is a very readable memoir. It does, understandably, visit painful memories of awful situations, but also shows the good side of humanity with various people coming together to help in any way they can. Tran acknowledges how small kindnesses in desperate times were just as valuable to him as grand gestures. I think that is one of the strongest lessons I will take from reading his memoir.”

Stephanie Jane, Literary Flits


“…To me, this is a story that reads like an exciting novel. It’s interesting and full of characters that make it difficult to close the book.”

Pick a Good Book


“…If you have any interest in Vietnam history, refugee lives and the pursuit of the American Dream–by an inspirational pursuer–this is a fantastic story that should be on your reading list.”

Book Corner News & Reviews


“…I enjoyed this book as a reader, and as a historian. It was a good, easy to read. It made sense and gave me a great view into how Tim and his family escaped and came to America.”

Connie Tillman, Reflecting on Days Gone By


“…I am giving American Dreamer: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy to read inspirational and uplifting true stories. I thought this memoir was a great read.”

Amy Booksy, Locks, Hooks and Books


“…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.”

Svetlana’s Reads and Views

“…American Dreamer is a well-written memoir that deserves a place on your book shelf.”

The VVA Veteran: Books in Review II

“…Overall American Dreamer is an insightful, informative, inspiring book and I would say if you are a reader who is interested in reading a unique memoir that will take you on a wild but brilliant journey! Then American Dreamer is for you and should not be missed. That is why I have to award this book five stars and encourage you lovely readers to get lost in its pages…”

Red Headed Book Lover II