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Odyssey of High Hopes

Odyssey of High Hopes is an exquisitely written tale about an immigrant's harrowing, captivating, and sometimes funny rollercoaster hike across the slopes of the American Dream.

From the dark and crime-infested tenements of South Tehran to the pinnacle of global finance is the inspiring story of a skinny teenager's hell-for-leather determination to rise above poverty and obscurity to secure a coveted American education.

Odyssey of High Hopes tells a searing and absorbing narrative about an immigrant's life in America. Shining a light on the hardships and challenges of immigrants, his memoir is a heartwarming and nuanced perspective on their plight - a thought-provoking "must" read for anyone interested in the truth about American immigrants.

Ansary (George Washington: Dealmaker-in-Chief) delivers a moving portrait of an immigrant’s voyage to become an American citizen. Born and raised in Shiraz, a southern Iranian town “known for its literature, flowers, and beautiful sunsets,” Ansary grew up with a burning desire to settle in America, fueled by his father’s stories of traveling to other cultures. He recounts his older brother Hushang’s leadership when their father was working abroad and his own struggles to find his place in the family, and in the world, set against his ambition to live in America, “the faraway land I had dreamed about for half my life.”

Bright from the start, Ansary’s dedicated himself to learning and garnered a spot on The New York Herald-Tribune Forum for High School Students, making his dream of traveling to America a reality. That dedication sustained him once he arrived in the United States, carrying him through the early hardships he endured on the path to citizenship—a milestone he achieved at 23, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Ansary unwraps his aspirations for readers chronologically, sharing his transformation from a starving employee at Montgomery Ward to an attorney and acquisitions expert based in Washington, D.C. He opens up about his private life as well, revealing the breakdown of his first marriage and the happiness he’s discovered with his second wife, Jan.

Readers will be inspired by Ansary’s rousing sentiment for the American dream. He stays authentic, describing his challenges alongside his victories, and touches on the unique cultural issues that impacted his work as one of the first professionals to “introduce Iran into the Western corporate scene.” With striking humility he describes his success at creating Iran’s Sovereign Wealth Fund program, the first of its kind, giving credit to Pahlavi, the last king of Iran, and closes with his unwavering faith in democracy: “For me, America will always be the hope of the world.”

Takeaway: An inspiring account of an Iranian immigrant’s successful voyage to America

Great for fans of: Reyna Grande’s A Dream Called Home, Jagjiwan Narayan’s From Fiji to America.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A