Audie Award Winner, Non-fiction, 2008
It 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 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 spent 12 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.
Roots is 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 Kunta Kinte.
©1974 Alex Haley. Renewed 2004 by Myran Haley, Cynthia Haley, Lydia Haley, and William Haley; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America
This is a sad tale about a shameful part of American history. The story is powerful and pulls you in from the beginning and does not lag at all, despite the books length. The reader is excellent.
I read this when it first came out and loved it. I saw the mini-series and fell in love with the characters. With the historic inauguration of President Barak Obama I decided it was time to revisit a classic from my adolescence. I have a long commute that I have begun to look forward to, so I can get back to the story. It is wonderfully engaging and very well read by the reader. Kunta Kinte has come a long way, baby.
This book is should be required listening for anyone who has an ounce of interest in slave trade or the middle passage. It is a story of trials and tribulations. Moreover it is a story of overcoming and eternal love.
I wouldn't have stolen the entire story from "The African" by Courlander.
Done his own research- then he wouldn't have convicted of the fraud and had to pay 650K to Courlander; I love how the other readers have no clue about Haley's charade. But I guess truth and fact is irrelevant to those who revere this story.
The narrator has a soothing voice
Everything but the forward- the rest of it is another persons work who should have gotten the Pulitzer instead. I'm shocked that I had to pay for this nonsense- Amazon should give it away free as fantasy literature.
A 5 year old could written this if they had previously read The African. I was shocked at how badly Haley had ripped his book off; and off course, they awarded Haley a Pulitzer Prize for his lie.
It was so dry, boring, long. I didn't make it too far into this novel.
I loved this recording. I learned so much from it about life in Africa before Kunta was kidnapped and then about life among the slaves in "slave row". I understand that Haley was accused of plagerism at least regarding Kunta but I'm sure the rest of his reasearch was thorough and complete. It was hard not to catch his enthusiasm as he tells at the end how he found the history of his family. The only part that I questioned was the narrative about the slave ship. The slavers were portrayed as unbelievably brutal. Surely they were pretty awful, but it was in their best interests to deliver the slaves in good shape. So I had to keep asking myself if it was really that bad. I did not give the performance 5 stars because I sometimes had a little bit of difficulty understanding what was being said.
Roots is a gift to all who read it! It stirs up so much emotions but most of all respect. I believe Roots should be a college requirement. Benefits all races. Most of all it encourages love and respect for those who paved our paths.
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