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An American Son: A Memoir

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  513 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Few politicians have risen to national prominence as quickly as Marco Rubio. At age forty-one he’s the subject of widespread interest and speculation. But he has never before told the full story of his unlikely journey, with all the twists and turns that made him an American son.That journey began when his parents first left Cuba in 1956. After Fidel Castro solidified his ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Sentinel (first published June 1st 2012)
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I've been an admirer of Marco Rubio since he came on the national political scene. Although he's very young to write a memoir, I found his story fascinating and inspiring. A strong theme in the book is his love for his family and his admiration for his parents and grandparents and the sacrifices they and other immigrant parents made for their children. I was impressed with his openness in admitting his mistakes and failures and showing how he learned from them. Most of all, I appreciated his exp ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Shaun rated it it was amazing
I was at Books a Million with my dearest wife. She drew my attention to a book, and said something to the effect of, “Hey, Shaun, it’s a signed book by one of those politician guys you like.” A signed copy of “An American Son” by Marco Rubio. I wasted no time, and immediately seized it! I love autographs, love history, and love politics, so a politician’s autograph, especially a potential future president or whatever fate has in store for him --- I had to take it! There was also a signed book by ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Manny rated it really liked it
Well Well. Mr. Marco Rubio is certainly an interesting person. I was attracted to this book because he is my same age and we grew up somewhat the same way as sons of immigrant exiles of Fidel Castro's regime and the long lost country.

The book details the plight of his parents and grandparents as they struggled to provide for their families both here in the US as well as in Cuba prior to coming here. Rubio details his life as a football loving, specifically Miami Dolphins, political junky. He sta
Justin Green
Jun 25, 2012 Justin Green rated it it was ok
The rating is perhaps unfair, but I tend to find most memoirs to be a waste of time. In Rubio's case, he's far too young to NEED a memoir. But perhaps this is the norm.

Even still, you won't find me recommending memoirs from people who haven't yet lived enough to have the need for them.
Jun 26, 2012 Alexandria rated it it was ok
Marco Rubio might be a shining, rising political star, but he won’t be rising to the top of any literary talents list. Now, I don’t hate Republicans (or for that matter, Democrats), and I’m reviewing this book solely on its content — and I’ll take Rubio’s word that everything is true in the book to the best of his knowledge.

“An American Son: A Memoir,” Rubio’s autobiography, details his entry into politics and his remarkable election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, and of course, his family’s exile
Jun 07, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it
Rubio is an inspiring politician, especially when discussing immigration, citizenship, the opportunities America gave him, and his faith.

As someone who has followed his career since the early days of his primary challenge against Crist, it was exciting to read of the internal strategy and thinking behind that campaign. I told friends back then that this unknown Cuban background politician from Florida will not just become a senator, but will be president one day- no one took much notice of him.
Malin Friess
Jun 24, 2012 Malin Friess rated it really liked it
Senator Rubio has a compelling story coming from a spanish speaking Cuban immigrant to upsetting Charlie Crist (long time Florida politician) to make it to the US senate at a very young age.

He is an up and coming rising star in the GOP. In this book their are certain flashes of arrogance (frequently talking about the salaries he was offered at Law Firms, and the price of his house) that perhaps go along with most politicians who make it to where he has. This book mostly follows his political ele
Michelle Burns
Apr 02, 2013 Michelle Burns rated it it was amazing
Living in Texas and just trying to survive in our crazy world, I had not payed any attention to Mr. Rubio's career. But after seeing the Republican response to the State of the Union Address I had to know more about this guy.

This book brought tears to my eyes and has made me want to join his campaign, which I have never felt compelled to do anything in politics into life.

My faith had been strengthened & I am relieved to know there are still REAL republicans working out there. I pray that Mr
Jun 03, 2015 Debbie rated it it was ok
As I read Rubio's memoir, on more than one occasion, I thought to myself 'what a whiner'.
He seems grateful for his parents sacrifices, but his writing just seems to have a tone of whiney little boy.

Quite often he mentions how his family suffers because of his chosen path in politics. Which is very apparent in his writing as well. Events leading up to his various elections will be chapters long, yet the birth of a child last for a paragraph or two.

I was not expecting this book to be SO heavy on
Susan Grodsky
Mar 14, 2013 Susan Grodsky rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I quit reading on page 220 in mid chapter. I'd had all my stomach could take of this self absorbed empty suit. A mediocre football player, Rubio seems to have chosen politics as a venue where he could win. But win for what? Rubio dispenses a few bromides on public policy while providing endless detail on the minutiae of campaigns. This Sarah Palin in sandals would be a disaster in the White House.
Aug 20, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Even though I really like Marco Rubio, I have to disclose that I skimmed some of this book. I found myself very interested in some chapters and not so much in others. His parents were remarkable people. They worked really hard to provide for their children and never took a hand out from anyone. I admire that so much!
Dave Jones
Jul 07, 2012 Dave Jones rated it really liked it
Another interesting political autobiography that hopefully has a sequel.
Aug 08, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
I vote for Marco Rubio. A man who stands on principles and isn't afraid to tell the truth when it is needed and isn't afraid to admit he isn't perfect.
Aug 03, 2012 Patrick rated it liked it
It is interesting how Rubio starts the book with an apology to his family for not being there for them due to the strenuous demands of the campaign trail and the fact all his energies was focused on winning including visualizing what it would feel like to win. Rubio was a selfish popular self-described autodidact that was not interested in getting good grades. From this book, I have learned that if any of my children has ADHD the best way to counter that is to allow them to play sports.

Rubio is
Justin Tapp
Mar 04, 2016 Justin Tapp rated it did not like it
Ultimately, this is a one-and-a-half star book. It is terribly boring, uninformative, and could be much shorter if Rubio had left out many of the trivial details about boyhood clothes, football games, his grandparents' and parents' lives, and other aspects of his life growing up. You think there will be some point to the details he remembers, but there is not; it is like reading from an ordinary average Joe's daily journal. We don't need to know about every odd job his grandfather had or every n ...more
Andrew Barkett
Mar 01, 2017 Andrew Barkett rated it it was ok
This book was disappointing. Some of it was fine, but on the whole, it was too disorganized and too focused on explaining away or contextualizing potential Rubio scandals. The interesting, positive parts would only have filled a short essay.
Sep 14, 2012 Darren rated it really liked it
I thoroughly -- and perhaps surprisingly -- enjoyed Marco Rubio's memoir.

Throughout the book he is sometimes brutally honest and harsh on himself. For a politician (who still holds public office) to admit to many failures, I found it rather refreshing. I'd just finished a book partially written by Paul Ryan and the contrast was incredible. Ryan never admitted to any mistakes, was light on any policy outside of the economy and was extremely partisan. Some of Marco's admissions were a bit jarring
Mar 14, 2016 Marilyn rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club, memoir
Our book club members are each reading a different book by a candidate, someone you likely wouldn't vote for, and the idea is to be open-minded, and not just read things you already agree with.

This book is all about his family history, and campaigning. I was disappointed that it really didn’t contain his ideas, other than general platitudes about how, as the son of an immigrant, he is proof that America is a land where dreams come true, and hopes it still will be. Early on, he sets a humble tone
Ben Chapman
Jun 27, 2012 Ben Chapman rated it really liked it
This book is very [VERY] interesting. I enjoyed learning about Mr. Rubio's family coming to America in hopes of finding the American dream we cherish. I also enjoyed learning about what he was like going from a young boy to a young man. I find I have similar attributes, which is what prompted me to read this book in the first place. Of course, it was not the only. The pages then began to run pretty dull as he started in on the race between himself and an incumbent, Charles Crist. More and more, ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
Why anyone would want to enter politics is a mystery to me. The media and party leaders seek to destroy some of these politicians and their families...not sure why but I will assume both party leaders and the media have their own agenda. Marco Rubio had a humble childhood. His parents were hard working immigrants who wanted their children to have it all. Marco himself was a lacklustre student until he reached college. When he applied himself he was a stellar student and went on to Law School. Ru ...more
Jeff Kelleher
May 05, 2015 Jeff Kelleher rated it really liked it
These reviews are supposed to be of the book, not the Presidential candidate. But it's probably impossible to separate one from the other, so the reader's disposition to the book will likely be correlated with his disposition to the candidacy.

When he announced in April, Rubio noted that he was the same age--43--as John F. Kennedy. But Kennedy, who was very reticent about himself, and very cautious, would never have written so freewheeling and self-exposing a memoir. One could find Obama-like nar
Jun 21, 2012 Julia rated it liked it
I became interested in Marco Rubio's career when he ran against Charlie Crist for the senate seat in Florida. Rubio is my age, with young children, and was moderately conservative. I did not like Charlie Crist; that tan alone creeped me out. Crist seemed to assume he would get the senat seat because of who he was, not what he wanted to do for Florida or the US.

Marco Rubio gives an in-depth look at how his political life was created and proceeded. He discusses his family, up-bringing, education a
Anthony Galli
Feb 20, 2015 Anthony Galli rated it liked it
I think he'll make an amazing Vice President.

This book was surprisingly honest. He talks about falling short sometimes as a husband and a father, a son and a politician.

He acknowledges he didn't get much done as Speaker of the Florida State House, which he blamed on Charlie Christ.

Later on he blurted out he was running for US Senate in a moment of anger, which he later regretted because he was still considering whether he should run or not against a popular sitting governor, and almost dropped o
Dec 15, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in politics and immigration

I was deciding between a 3 or 4 star rating. So I rounded up. I would have I preferred to learn more of his philosophies than his facts of life. I was very interested in his early years and how his grandfather influenced him. Some parts of this book were very boring and some parts held my attention. He touched on immigration and how media can give negative impact. It's one of those books that once you start you're afraid you may miss something good of you quit before the end. Autobiography is n
Jun 19, 2012 Deborah rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I supported and had decided to vote for Marco Rubio even though it looked like he had no chance to win against Charlie Crist in the Republican primary race. So, this story was particularly of interest to me. I quite enjoyed his tribute to his parents and grandparents by telling their stories - as well as his own. What I absolutely disliked about this audio book was the abridgment. I thought it was horrible. At times I felt like I had missed listening to half the book as it jumped all over the pl ...more
Marta B
Aug 01, 2012 Marta B rated it really liked it
I was surprised by An American Son. I expected it to be a story of politics. I found it more a story of faith and (real) hope (not Obama-type hope). As a Cuban-American, I was proud of Marco Rubio's success. As a human being, I'm moved by his love for his Cuban heritage, for the United State - the country of his birth, for his family and above all his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God bless him and his family.
Aug 03, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Definitely a great read! Made me like Marco even more after reading this book and I didn't think that was possible!

I'm not really into politics but as a Floridian I have admired Marco Rubio. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There wasn't too much political things in it but what was there was interesting. To me it was more of a story of his life. He wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth and was raised to work hard just as his parents had.

He makes me proud to be a Floridian!

Jun 30, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
Whatever your politics Marco Rubio has an inspiring story. My parents were not immigrants but I think they would have related very closely to the Rubio family - a love for this country and appreciation for the opportunities it provided them and their children. It is nice to read something positive about our heritage and see how it influenced someone to fight hard for what he believes even at great personal cost and risk.
Jul 25, 2014 Tracey rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book so much! It wasn't just another "in the life of" memoir. This was a very heartfelt story of immigrants, family, sacrifice, faith and love.

After reading this, I am in Rubio's corner all the way. He's s real American with a deep love for his God, his family, and his country.

I highly recommend this read.
Jul 08, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing
I found this book interesting, and read it while Rubio was being touted as a VP candidate. Part of the reason I found it interesting was the view Rubio gave of his run for the FL state house, and experiences there. it was interesting to me to compare his experiences with what I have experienced and observed in Sean's campaigns and terms in the GA State House.
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United States Republican Senator from Florida, serving since January 2011.
A Cuban American native of Miami, Florida, Rubio is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School. In the late 1990s, he served as a City Commissioner for West Miami and was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, representing the 111th House district. He was elected Speaker
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