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Roots by Alex Haley
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Roots (1976)

by Alex Haley

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4,944681,389 (4.27)183
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» See also 183 mentions

English (64)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (68)
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dust jacket, signed by author
  Sheila01 | Mar 3, 2019 |
Roots is a genuinely compelling read which brought, and continues to bring, a new awareness of the horrors of slavery. However, if you've read any of the Slave Narratives, you know it was actually far worse than this book portrays.

What truly diminished the story for me was how glossed over the post-Civil War backlash against blacks was. A couple of white guys talk a little smack and then just wander off when the Kinte descendants refuse to cooperate. There is absolutely no mention of the Klan or lynchings or any of that.

I suppose if you haven't read much non-fiction on this topic it would have a greater impact. For me, however, it seemed really toned down. I wish Mr. Haley had been given the chance to write this one novel as a multi-part series. I feel this would have given him a chance to expand upon the post-Civil War era. Sadly, the publishing world was barely ready to release this book at the time. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jan 13, 2019 |
I've never seen the miniseries, so I came to this saga of Kunta Kinte and his descendants with no idea what to expect. And there's so much here. So many events, so many lives, so much tragedy, so much joy. I've read that some dispute the details of the lineage described here, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a true story - true in that this really is how many black people, enslaved and free, lived in America during this time. It's a powerful reminder of our past without losing hope for our future. Recommended.

A note on the audio: Avery Brooks has a very soothing voice. His narration was fantastic. ( )
  melydia | Oct 7, 2018 |
This book should be required reading for every American high school student. ( )
  cindiann | May 3, 2018 |
Roots is a great novel regardless of the hoax genealogy. I assumed it was fiction anyway. It doesn't take away from an archetypal story of millions of black Americans. Haley can tell a powerful story while at the same time revealing history. For example having recently read The Internal Enemy, a history of slavery in Virginia from the 1770s to 1830s, the place and times come alive in personal color through Roots. Haley correctly emphasizes white fear of the "internal enemy". Indeed Roots is comparable to Schindler's List how it introduced and educated generations of Americans to a hard topic; and serves as a corrective to romanticized white literature about the antebellum south. ( )
  Stbalbach | Apr 29, 2018 |
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Wij zwarten
Dedication
It wasn't planned that Roots' researching and writing finally would take twelve years. Just by chance it is being published in the Bicentennial Year of the United States. So I dedicate Roots as a birthday offering to my country within which most of Roots happened.
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Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a manchild was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440174643, Paperback)

It begins with a birth in 1750, in an African village; it ends seven generations later at the Arkansas funeral of a black professor whose children are a teacher, a Navy architect, an assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency, and an author. The author is Alex Haley. This magnificent book is his.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A black American traces his family's origins back to the African who was brought to America as a slave in 1767.

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