Roots-Thirtieth Anniversary Edition: The Saga of an American Family

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Roots-Thirtieth Anniversary Edition: The Saga of an American Family

by Alex Haley

Vanguard Press | May 22, 2007 | Trade Paperback

Roots-Thirtieth Anniversary Edition: The Saga of an American Family is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.
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.
 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 912 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.9 in

Published: May 22, 2007

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1593154496

ISBN - 13: 9781593154493

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching, emotional, richly written I read this book several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book really tugs at your heartstrings and does a very good job of explaining the slavery era in the U.S. I felt like I knew each of the characters - their development was so detailed and complete. I found myself laughing and crying at different places throughout the story. The climax about 3/4 of the way through the book hit me like a ton of bricks. I will read this again and again and I highly recommend it to other readers.
Date published: 2009-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Captivating, no pun intended ! I think the book is worth the read. I find Haley's prose is accessible which makes the book easy to read. Haley is a good story teller and although the book is 900 pages, it reads very well and quickly. The characters, especially Kunta, are three dimensional and believable. Some readers might have trouble understanding the direct discours of the characters, which is done in negro slang/twang, but I think any English speaker in North America would catch on to the dialect quickly. I found Haley was particulary good at keeping the reader aware of the year that any given event was taking place in a way that was well integrated. I found the book especially interesting in its accounts of the treatments of slaves. The novel describes many powerful and unforgetable scenes and incidents that show how brutal masters could be, on many levels (physical emotional pshycological) to slaves. I was particularly interested in reading this novel after reading "Book of Negros" and "Gone with the Wind" to see how the tthree authors, Lawrence, Mitchel and Haley, treated the subject, as I found that Lawrence's book was somewhat unconvincing and Mitchel's was insulting to African Americans. I find Haley's work far more evocative, much more powerful. If you compare how Haley and Lawrence describe the transatlantic passage, Lawrence's just doesn't compare to the horror that Haley describes. Lastly I found the last three or so chapters unnecessary (they describe how Haley came to write the novel) and would have been better suited in an epilogue. And sadly, there were a handful of typos. Don't editors edit anymore ??
Date published: 2009-11-17

– More About This Product –

Roots-Thirtieth Anniversary Edition: The Saga of an American Family

by Alex Haley

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 912 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.9 in

Published: May 22, 2007

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1593154496

ISBN - 13: 9781593154493

From the Publisher

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.
 

About the Author

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.