Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

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This "" (Newsweek magazine) begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

When Alex Haley was a boy growing up in Tennessee, his grandmother used to tell him stories about their family, stories that went way back to a man she called "the African" who was taken aboard a slave ship bound for Colonial America. As an adult, Alex Haley spent twelve years searching for documentation that might authenticate what his grandmother had told him. In an astonishing feat of genealogical detective work, he discovered the name of "the African"—Kunta Kinte, as well as the exact location of the village in West Africa from where he was abducted in 1767.

While Haley created certain unknown details of his family history, ROOTS is definitely based on the facts of his ancestry, and the six generations of people—slaves and freedmen, farmers and lawyers, an architect, teacher—and one acclaimed author—descended from Kunte Kinte. But with this book, Haley did more than recapture the history of his own family. He popularized genealogy for people of all races and colors; and in so doing, wrote one of the most important and beloved books of all time, a true Modern Classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483002736
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Alex Haley (1921-1992) was a bestselling and award-winning writer whose works, including Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, centered on the struggles of African Americans.

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Roots 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whatever parts are fact or fiction, it's obvious the world needed this book -- but especially black and white Americans. It lays to bare the horrific exploitation of slavery whose effects continue to this day. Race was used an excuse to dehumanize an entire continent of people for greed. Haley successfully re-humanized the enslaved to provide an accurate portrayal of slavery's victims. Similar books are still needed for a variety of aggrieved people who have suffered the worst effects of colonialism. But Haley probably accomplished his goals better than anyone else could have dreamed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even if the dear professor above says this book is fiction, one can not dismiss the fact Alex Haley was an exceptional writer. This is the only book I've ever read that I've literally screamed aloud and thrown across the room. While I didn't think it was purely autobiographical, I got the feeling that it wasn't so far from the mark with the history of African Americans in the USA. It's erroneous to dismiss Haley as one of the greatest writers of our times simply because some of the story ideas where slightly amelgamated into Roots. You can say the same thing about John Jakes 'Love and War' and Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'. Being inspired by a story is not the same as plagarizing and as it says in one of the oldest books on the planet, 'There's nothing new under the sun.' They said the same about MLK with plagarism and I question the motives. If you liked this book, also read his biography of 'Malcolm X'. Spike Lee did a major disservice to Haley's writing in the movie version as it didn't capture the sheer magnitude of the man like Haley did.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Such an important contribution to our world to help us understand more about the horrors of slavery. A must read! The 2016 mini series is good but I was disappointed it's so different from the book so reader beware.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I cant express what an amazing story this was. Knowing it was basically true makes it even more so.
krystalsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
each i time i reread this i am awe struck by its power.
Lyn.S.Soussi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All the more incredible for being based on truth.
van_stef on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. For years I've heard people tell me it's a great read, and now I have to agree. It chronicles the journey of one African-American family from their roots in Africa through slavery in America, and through modern times. Gripping, heart-stopping, and very memorable. The author writes in such a way in that you know the characters as real people, not just characters in the book. The untold story of slavery and the impact it still has to families across this country.
unlikelyaristotle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Essentially, this is a story of an African-American man's ancestry, starting with his ancestor, who was kidnapped from his village in Africa, and sold into the horrible life of slavery. The story moves on to every generation of this fascinating family, and you get the feeling that the history of this one fascinating family is also the history of every African-American descended from slavery. What a story. I think this was one of the first true stories I've read in my life, and what a pick! It was like a bucketful of cold water, waking me up to the reality of the world we live in. This book is an absolute epic saga, no words can truly describe its importance, and I really feel that every African-American should read this novel. This was a relatively long book, but I truly didn't feel it, I whizzed through it; every single page was action-packed, every single character I encountered in this book I either loved or hated with a passion. Scratch what I said before about every African-American reading this book. EVERYONE should read this book. They may not like the style (although I truly enjoyed jt), but everyone can't help but be a richer person after reading.
saskreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Huge saga, well-worth the time it takes to read.
CarlaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when I was 8 years old, I remember the powerful influence it had on me back then. I re-read it and got even more out of it the second time. Truly a wonderful book.
brose72 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A tremendous book chronicling a family's history over a 200 year period from their homeland in Africa to their enslavement in the United States to their eventual emancipation. Unforgettable characters.
williamcostiganjr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree with the comment below that the quality diminishes as we leave Kunta Kinte and move on to subsequent generations of the family. I think this book is still worth reading because the first several hundred pages are excellent. And the last few hundred pages aren't so bad either; they just don't live up to the start of the book.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm glad I finally read the book after seeing the movie a couple times while growing up.
Clurb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roots follows the life of Kunte Kinte from his birth in a small African village, through his capture and sale into slavery in the United States and the life he builds for himself and his family there. This is a wonderful, all encompassing novel of strength, love and perseverance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a shock to me that Alex haley confessed to many points of plagerism in his book 'Roots' It has been ahile since I read this book but there our scenes within it that I will never forget. I was just talking about the bookj today and I figured I would finally come and give the books its well deserved 5 stars. Read this book, it is great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is so far the best book i have read in my life. This book really makes you join the family adventure as if you where there with them to experince ther thrilling story life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was never intrested in the struggles of the african american race, until i read this book. it pulls you in and you wont put it down nomatter what level of reading you are at. i still have yet to see the mini series but i dont feel that i need to after the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kunta Kinte, the african, who is judged 'inferior', 'person with lack of undersanding' by the white society only because of the color of his complexion,his legacy survives even through the cruel and humane practice of slavery through many generations. It's indeed a sad book, but a worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roots is a moving and sometimes very sad story... Alex Haley showed White America 'the hororrs witnessed by blacks for the lst 400 years' 10/10 stars READ IT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read 'Roots' twice. It's moving and it has you thinking about life and of what it used to be. This book is great! Read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All I have to say is I am 16 and I love this book. It's great. It makes you realize a lot of things. Long but good! You gotta love Kunta Kinte!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alex Haley masterfully depicts the journey of an African man captured then sold into slavery, and that of his decendants. From the village of Juffure to Arkansas, every sentence in Haley's captivating epic is beatifully crafted. The novel is as informative as it is provocative. It brilliantly displays the emergence of an African American family from an African man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roots is the story of an American family. Since it is a classic, it has withstood the test of time. There is some violence, so don't read it if you are under 13. Roots takes place in west Africa & the southern United States. The main character, Kunta Kinte, is strong & he's named for hiw grandfather- a great warrior. Kunta Kinte is taken to the United States and he is sold into slavery. This book provides escape & a sense of history. But, it took a much longer time to read than I expected. If you have a lot of time on your hands, I would recommend this book.