In 1950, a poor Lebanese teenager, 19-year-old Sam Moore, emigrated alone to America. His English was as broken as his prospects for the American Dream. Eventually, Moore would purchase one of the oldest and most respected publishing companies in Britain, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Under his direction, Thomas Nelson would become one of the leading Bible publishers in the world and would contribute to the developing successes of such best-selling nonfiction authors as Robert Schuller and Zig Ziglar. Watching his company being listed in 1995 on the New York Stock Exchange was many smiles and tears from Idlewild Airport in New York City just across town where Moore first entered the country with only $600 to his name in 1950. Moore can testify loudly that the American Dream is neither myth nor fact. It is opportunity.
Written to coincide with the 200 year anniversary of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the first half of American by Choice is pure Moore autobiography. In places, the writing is cliche-ridden, but where the writing itself fails, the reader should concentrate on the unusual and inspirational story revisited in the second half of the book. When Moore begins to write about Thomas Nelson Publishers, his tone changes dramatically. In the last half, it is obvious that Moore is more comfortable outlining his company and where he wishes to lead it than he is in writing about himself. As you read, you can feel his driving nature.
"They did not know how hard I worked and the amount of hours and sweat I put out during the summer, the dogs that jumped on me, the doors that were slammed in my face. But that was nothing compared to the joy and rewards I found in what I had been able to achieve." His is more than a rags-to-riches story. It's a reminder.