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Roots: The Saga of an American Family

By Alex Haley & Avery Brooks (Narrator)
Our Price $ 16.96  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
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Item Number 358624  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.13" Width: 5.47" Height: 1.17"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   BBC Audiobooks America
ISBN  1602833869  
EAN  9781602833869  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
ABRIDGED EDITION: It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. 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. Growing up in Tennessee, Alex's'grandmother told him stories about their family 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 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 -and 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 freemen, farmers and lawyers, an architect, a teacher -and one acclaimed author who descended from Kunta Kinte.

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More About Alex Haley & Avery Brooks

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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, and Queen, a sequel to Roots. Haley died in 1992.

Alex Haley died in 1992.

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Product Categories
1Books > Audio CDs > Biographies & Memoirs   [644  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Errors, Errors, Everywhere  Sep 3, 2008
It was a well written story. Unfortunately, there were a ridiculous number of grammar and spelling errors as well as a couple incorrect facts that really devalued the book for me. I couldn't read 10 pages without seeing a mistake like "the the". I was especially disappointed by these errors since it was the special 30th Anniversary reprint of the book. I would have thought they would fix most of these mistakes. As a history teacher, the factual errors were even worse for me. He wrote that the American Revolution was also known as the Seven Years' War. That is incorrect. The Seven Years' War is another name for the French and Indian War which preceded the Amer. Rev. After reading the first 500 pages and getting so annoyed I finally bought it on tape and listened to the rest.
Great Book and One Worth Remembering!   Aug 17, 2008
I loved this book when it first came out and am now watching the miniseries all over again. It is wonderful to read and behold. Many of the family's lore has been proven to be fiction but does it matter? It is a great book and wonderful idea for a story. It brought back the idea of tracing people's roots that is still with us today. A wonderful read.
A must read  Aug 9, 2008
anybody interested in American history or family this is the book to read. Hailey is a must read for eveybody.
Reviw for the Kindle editon  Apr 13, 2008
I read this book on Kindle a couple of months ago. I remember watching the mini series as a kid but had never read the book. I'm not going to go into the literary aspects because that has been covered, in it's good and bad points already. I will say I'm glad I've read it. I won't consider it a completely accurate history lesson, but it does make a person think past normal boundaries. This book is formatted well for Kindle, it had no formatting issues. The fact I read it on Kindle was "handy" because I could look up tribal phrases in the dictionary, or wiki with little effort and go straight back to reading.
A beloved book marred by flaws  Mar 11, 2008
I love Roots and think the whole world should read it. It's an important and vital book about American history, family history, and triumph over hardship. I loved Roots the first time I read it twenty years ago, and I love it still, having just finished it yesterday, BUT...

1) If only Alex Haley hadn't plagiarized whole sections of the book (see Wikipedia's article on the author Harold Courlander)

2) If only Haley really HAD been related to Kunta Kinte (genealogists state he consciously perpetrated a hoax)

3) If only Juffure really WAS Haley's ancestral village (evidence suggests that the griot from modern Juffure with "memories" of Kunta Kinte's disappearance in 1767 was coached about what to "remember")

I found these fabrications depressing. And what's so sad is that I believe Haley had no need to lie and cheat, because he's really a top-notch storyteller.

This aside, though, I have a few other critical comments.

1) The book begins a slow descent into petering out after Kunta Kinte exits. The characters become increasingly wooden and one-dimensional. Kunta is great, Kizzy is good, Chicken George is fair, and everyone and almost everything after that is forgettable.

2) The book lauds having tons of children, mindlessly, and fails to criticize parents who have children and cannot provide for them. Haley makes it seem that having children and passing on the family name, no matter what horror the child risks getting subjected to, is the noblest of goals. I disagree! It sounds crass to say that slaves shouldn't have had children, but I hold all parents, slaves or not (rape victims being an exception), responsible when they knowingly bring children into a world of hell. (And Chicken George - a neglectful parent, to say the least - bringing 8 children into slavery? Nothing admirable there!)

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