An American Son by Marco Rubio

Many of you have probably heard of Marco Rubio, a popular United States senator from Florida.  He first came to my attention when the media mentioned him as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney.  Although Romney chose Paul Ryan instead, Rubio is likely to remain in the news, and you may want to read An American Son to become more familiar with this well-known politician.

Rubio tells a fascinating tale about his life and that of his immigrant family.  His parents left Cuba for the U.S. in 1956, shortly before Fidel Castro took power.  Rubio’s family struggled to survive financially in Cuba, and his parents hoped to find a better life in the United States.  At times, the American dream seemed to be in their grasp, but they spent most of their working lives in low-paid jobs far below their dreams and their potential.  Marco was born in the U.S. in 1971, and his amazing success in politics at an early age made his parents feel that their lives had not been in vain, since their sacrifices had helped their son to achieve his dreams.  Rubio’s constituents of Cuban background were proud that one of their own had become a leader in the U.S.

Although I don’t know when my family came to the U.S., many of the Rubio family’s financial struggles are similar to those in my own family’s history.  In my family story, too, there were times of temporary success followed by serious setbacks. I, like Rubio, had an ancestor who had to quit school at the age of eight to help support the family.  As for others, the hardships of the recession in the past few years have had many people facing financial difficulties.  Even if you aren’t from a Cuban background, you may be surprised at how much you can relate to the story of this family!

I confess that I skimmed or skipped parts of the story of Rubio’s political career.  I’m just not that interested in Florida politics!  I wondered if I should write about this book, since I didn’t read all of it thoroughly.  However, I do think that it’s often appropriate to read only the parts of a book which are of interest to you.  I often had customers apologize for not reading a book in its entirety, and I used to say, “That’s ok – you weren’t reading it for a book report.”

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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