Roots: the saga of an American family

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Gramercy Books, Sep 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 688 pages
47 Reviews
This "bold...extraordinary...blockbuster..." (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.

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Review: Roots: The Saga of an American Family

User Review  - Micahb - Goodreads

I really enjoyed the story. even if it was largely a plagiarized work, it still told about the experiences of so many people who were taken captive, enslaved, and then treated like chattel. a sad tale ... Read full review

Review: Roots: The Saga of an American Family

User Review  - Kunal Sen - Goodreads

A book that I avoided reading for a long time for its sheer size, but I shouldn't have. What an experience! Read full review

Contents

Section 1
4
Section 2
16
Section 3
19
Copyright

31 other sections not shown

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About the author (2000)

ALEX HALEY taught himself to write during a twenty year career in the U.S. Coast Guard. After retiring, he worked as a freelance magazine writer. His first book was The Autobiography of Malcom X, on which he was collaborator and editor.  ROOTS: The Saga of An American Family was his second book, for which he was awarded special recognition from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award committees. He also wrote A Different Kind of Christmas, available from Random House Value Publishing, and Queen, a sequel to ROOTS. Haley died in 1992.