Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

by Alex Haley

Paperback(Media tie-in)

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Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley

A new eight-hour event series based on Roots will be simulcast on the History Channel, Lifetime, and A&E over four consecutive nights beginning Memorial Day, May 30, 2016

"Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a man-child was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte."

So begins Roots, one of the most extraordinary and influential books of our time. Through the story of one family—his family—Alex Haley unforgettably brings to life the monumental two-century drama of Kunta Kinte and the six generations who came after him: slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lumber mill workmen and Pullman porters, lawyers and architects...and one author.

A national and international phenomenon at the time of its original publication, Roots continues to enthrall readers with its masterful narrative drive and exceptional emotional power, speaking to us all with an undiminished resonance and relevance.

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage.... Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning no matter what our attainments in life."—Alex Haley

With an introduction by Michael Eric Dyson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306824852
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: Media tie-in
Pages: 912
Sales rank: 125,180
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 2.30(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. 53 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.
CarlaR on LibraryThing 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago
I'm glad I finally read the book after seeing the movie a couple times while growing up.
Clurb on LibraryThing 4 days 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
Kunta kinta
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i belive that he expressed his feelings within the book itself i'm only 23 and this is number one book i read almost every summer. people who think it is boring don't understand the concopt of the whole story. i love this book and i think that a person can write anything they want too, this book is a preview of what is in the further.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alex Haley's 'Roots' captures generations of love, tears, pain, strife, sacrifice, and happiness in 700-something pages. I found myself getting so involved and moved by the characters' stories that I often had to put the book down (it was not a 'light, summer novel' as someone had told me!)A great book nonetheless and a MUST READ for the younger generation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It may not be all totally true for his line but it is a great story for the ages. I couldn't put it down in some parts and was so heart broken that I swore I didn't want to read anymore in other parts. I love the style it was written with and the determination it instills in anyone who reads it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first got interested in Roots from seeing the miniseries back when I was little. I didn't really understand what I was watching. Last year, the miniseries came on television for Black History Month. I was so engrossed in it that I decided to read the book. I have read the book twice and I am now doing a research paper on the novel in college. I felt what Alex Haley was feeling during those 12 years of researching information for this novel. Everyone should know there backgrounds and ancestors. It takes a lot of determination and brillance to be able to travel to many different places to find out about your family's genealogy. Alex Haley is a wise individual and I thank him for teaching myself and other African Americans about their heritage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It can be observed throughout the entire book of Roots a repeating pattern of events that allow me to think about how for generations a family could hold on to their faith, beliefs, and traditions no matter what. Also, throughout this long life-span journey of Kunta Kinte and his proceeding family tree, and their experiences with the opposing lives of free-men and slaves, the author presents a precise central idea or opinion that is past down from generation to generation. This central idea is so clearly emphasized by the title of the book, Roots. Alex Haley¿s opinion on the importance of a family or individual¿s roots or origins is much similar to the necessity of roots for the survival of plants; that provide anchoring and support. Not only did Haley believe that roots played a key roll in his life and the life of his entire family tree, but that in some cases it is the only noble aspect of life that one could be proud of, as it determines his identity. I am totally supportive of the author¿s opinion, as us human beings sometimes are stripped away from our natural and civil rights and are left with nothing to hold on to but the spiritual and historical pragmatic aspects of life: roots, origins, faith, and religion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
yes i think this book is a good reader it realy covers back in the time of slavery and since it was past on generation to generation the story is truly a heart breaking memory of the past and what realy took place i would recomend this book to any one alex does a good job explianing his history