"I thought, Finally, I am in the dreamland I had been longing for. But I was 10,000 miles away from my home, my roots, and my loved ones. Suddenly, a feeling of loneliness set in."

In 1985 and at the age of 51, Cheng, a computer science professor in Virginia, left academia to start a small company, which he soon turned into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. A decade later, his company was awarded a government contract for $240 million. Just how he came to the U.S. in the first place—his stressful childhood in war-torn China, youthful brushes with death, wide-eyed love of all things technical, faithful dog, brutal ocean journeys, and dozens of other personal details a nd anecdotes—form the basis of this autobiographical digest. Covering the years from when he was a young teenager to his arrival in the U.S. as a 27-year-old electronics expert (who had to leave his wife behind), this book—one of several volumes—is proof positive that natural skill, steadfast persistence, and a little luck with some fate thrown in make for a fascinating life.

There is no doubt that Cheng’s journey from a peripatetic childhood in China to his arrival in the U.S. (with just thirty dollars in his pocket) to complete his education and begin his professional life provides an extraordinary, dramatic story worthy of journalistic coverage. Although this is a heartfelt and well-intentioned narrative, some additional editing would have enhanced the effectiveness of the prose and might have also added some needed context on such things as lessons learned and used later in life. Despite those issues, what nevertheless comes through loud and clear in this volume of Cheng’s autobiography is that he is a remarkable, altruistic, and deservedly praiseworthy man whose success should be an inspiration.

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