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Roots Paperback – Jan 1 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jan 1 1994
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Jan. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099362813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099362814
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,039,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Before I started reading this book, I thought I had a basic understanding of slavery in the US. As a Canadian, I honestly did not know much about the slave trade other than a few social studies classes and old movies that did not focus on how truly awful it was. This book showed me how naive and wrong I was to think I knew much about it. I watched the new 2016 version of the Roots Miniseries and it made me want to read the book to learn more. I found the miniseries to be powerful but the novel itself was even more. The novel starts with the birth of Kunta Kinte and his young life in Juffure, Gambia. It ends with author Alex Haley (seven generations later) linking himself to the family history. We learn about each generation between them and how they struggled through slavery and the abuse of their owners. Even the so called "nice" owners were still awful and see how society itself view African americans so poorly was hard to take. Although the issues with plagiarism are important to consider, the overall messages of family and survival in Roots had a deep impact on me. Even if the exact details of Kunta Kinte's life aren't given in this book, the story of a young man captured, sent on a boat as a slave and sold in auction in Maryland and to a plantation is truly important.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alex Haley's monumental tribute to his forebears provides not only the perfect antidote for Blacks in a society that perpetually miseducates us about our ancestral homeland, but also an unblinking and unflinching view of slavery.
This was the book that made Americans of all races and creeds care about this country's shameful past in a way that many never had before. The book points out the role of Arab slave traders in the problem, but it should be noted that under their auspices such problems stayed on African soil until the arrival of the toubob.
Haley does a brilliant job of getting inside the heads, hearts and souls of his forbear, Kunta Kinte and his family, however fictional certain aspects of the story may be. He warmly and lovingly re-creates both the positive and negative aspects of life in the village of Juffure, The Gambia, detailing their family lives, educational system, religious life, and their complex system of government. We learn about griots, who are highly reminiscent of the wandering minstrels of Medieval Europe, who through their songs and stories, pass the history of their people from one generation to another.I could feel the hot,arid climate of that region from just reading!
If people never read any other part of this epic saga, I would at least encourage them to read Chapter 24 in which Haley gives a brief but college-level education about the great kingdoms of West Africa, including Mali, the Kingdom where the world's first University was built in Timbuktu.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I read this when I was about 13 a long time ago :). I bought this book for my daughter who is an avid reader. She is 11 and enjoyed it thoroughly. She was riveted from start to finish. She reads a lot of fantasy/sci fi books and every now and again I try to give her something a little different. I was concerned that it was a bit mature for her, but she was fine, We talked about some of the scenes in the book and who her favourite characters were, she liked Chicken George.

It is now one of her favorite books.
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Format: Paperback
As far as the book itself is concerned, this is a reasonably engrossing story. There's too much dialogue filling in historical information that makes the flow awkward. The story definitely loses momentum toward the end, as very little of interest happens in the final chapters compared with what has come before.

Also, despite what you read within the pages, this story has little or no historical value. It certainly does not represent a historically accurate picture of Haley's family tree, despite what he says about his "research" and his journey to Africa. Tragically, the black experience has ensured that the kind of genealogical information we crave is irretrievable. That does not excuse Haley's sloppy work and false claims, however. Unfortunately, this book also contains much plagiarism of "The African" by Harold Courlander, as has been known since a lawsuit related to it in the 1970s.

Harold Courlander's novel, from which Alex Haley stole, is justly neglected - Haley's novel could justly be neglected too. It's a good read, but not an essential or important one. When you consider the baggage that it carries, one should look elsewhere for a definitive novel about the black experience. Maybe "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill?
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Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
I originally read this book when it first came out - loved it then - love it today. I found it very well written. My heart ached for the horrors that the characters went through. I had never heard of slavery before I read this book and was in tears several times while reading it.
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