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Roots: The Saga of an American Family [Paperback]

By Alex Haley & Michael Eric Dyson (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 16.14  
Retail Value $ 18.99  
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Item Number 399325  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   899
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.72" Height: 1.9"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 22, 2007
Publisher   Vanguard Press
ISBN  1593154496  
EAN  9781593154493  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The author shares the saga of an African American family that extends from his ancestor Kunta Kinte, an African brought to mid-eighteenth-century America as a slave, to himself.

Publishers Description
One of the most important books and television series ever to appear, "Roots," galvanized the nation, and created an extraordinary political, racial, social and cultural dialogue that hadn't been seen since the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The book sold over one million copies in the first year, and the miniseries was watched by an astonishing 130 million people. It also won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. "Roots" opened up the minds of Americans of all colors and faiths to one of the darkest and most painful parts of America's past.
Over the years, both "Roots" and Alex Haley have attracted controversy, which comes with the territory for trailblazing, iconic books, particularly on the topic of race. Some of the criticism results from whether "Roots" is fact or fiction and whether Alex Haley confused these two issues, a subject he addresses directly in the book. There is also the fact that Haley was sued for plagiarism when it was discovered that several dozen paragraphs in "Roots" were taken directly from a novel, The African, by Harold Courlander, who ultimately received a substantial financial settlement at the end of the case.
But none of the controversy affects the basic issue. "Roots" fostered a remarkable dialogue about not just the past, but the then present day 1970s and how America had fared since the days portrayed in "Roots." Vanguard Press feels that it is important to publish "Roots: The 30th Anniversary Edition" to remind the generation that originally read it that there are issues that still need to be discussed and debated, and to introduce to a new and younger generation, a book that will help them understand, perhaps for the first time, the reality of what took place during the time of "Roots."

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More About Alex Haley & Michael Eric Dyson

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 > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black   [1070  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > General   [1313  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General   [54887  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > African Americans > History   [591  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > Haley, Alex   [4  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > African-American Studies   [2112  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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