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Roots: The Saga of an American Family

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  119,362 Ratings  ·  2,570 Reviews
(from the back cover of the book)

It begins with a birth in 1750, in an African village; it ends seven generations later at the Arkansas funeral of a black profssor whose children are a teacher, a Navy architect, an assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency, and an author. The author is Alex Haley, This magnificent book is his.
Paperback, First Dell Printing, 729 pages
Published 1977 by Dell Publishing Company (Arrangement with Doubleday & Company, Inc.) (first published August 17th 1976)
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Paul Yes. Naturally, there is some violence, but of an historical nature .
Amber Roots has been translated into many languages, but I can't find any information about a Marathi edition, sorry.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nandakishore Varma
I read this book long, long ago: came across it while going through a book list here on Goodreads, and suddenly felt the urge to post a review.

Dear Kunta Kinte,

We are separated by time, space and culture. Throughout your largely tragic life, you would never have imagined that your story would ever be written, let alone read by a bookish teenager in far-away India, for whom slavery till that day was only a fact learned from school textbooks, mucked up to pass hated history exams. However, Mr. Kin
...more
Ebookwormy1
This book was astonishing to me - particularly the narrative of Kunta Kinte's life. This is why I read! What an amazing description of African culture and the rights of manhood. Then, the horrible violation of slavery and the cross-cultural experience of an African joining slaves who were predominately born in the United States. Sounds silly, but though I've read many books on slavery, none have dealt with the differences among slaves themselves and how growing up as a slave shaped how African A ...more
Claudia
Nov 29, 2015 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Alles beginnt in dem kleinen Dorf Juffure in Gambia, aus dem Mitte des 18. Jhd. der junge Kunta Kinte von Sklavenjägern gefangen und nach Virginia verschleppt wird.

Festgekettet an eine Holzpritsche auf dem Unterdeck erleben die Gefangenen eine grauenvolle, menschenunwürdige Überfahrt, die sehr vielen das Leben kostet. Die Menschen sterben an allen möglichen Infektionskrankheiten. Sie liegen in ihren eigenen Exkrementen; Hunger, Durst und Ratten geben Ihnen den Rest.

Kunta Kinte überlebt mehr tot
...more
Tea Jovanović
Knjiga, a potom i serija, koje smo mnogo voleli... Kako bi bilo lepo kad bi se neko setio evergrin naslova i ponovo objavio ovu knjigu... Pre nekoliko godina sam nabavila originalni box set serije pa mogu da uživam u njoj kad god poželim... Makar nešto... :)
Ashley
Jul 03, 2007 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
I honestly can't believe how much I enjoyed this book. It's been sitting on my shelf for about half a year now and I've been wanting to read it as soon as I got it. I always just started another book though and always said "next time."

I finally picked it up 6 days ago and finished it about 10 minutes ago.

The beginning was wonderful. I was so enthralled with Africa and Kunta Kinte and his family and the whole works. The way they lived, the culture, the traditions, it was like reading of another
...more
Tayebe Ej
Jan 01, 2015 Tayebe Ej rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: همه
Shelves: novels
درباره ی بردگی کتاب و فیلم کم نخوندم و کم ندیدم اما چیزی که کتاب ریشه ها رو خاص میکنه، توصیف وضعیت «برده بودن» نیست، وصف مسیر دردناک و تلخ «برده شدن»ه.. 400 صفحه اول کتاب، از زندگی کونتا کینته ی مسلمان آفریقایی در دهکده اش، تا برده شدنش و آورده شدنش به امریکا، بهترین، جذابترین و تأثیرگذارترین بخش ریشه هاس..
الکس هیلی بعد از دوازده سال تحقیق، سفر به آفریقا و پیدا کردن دهکده ای که اجدادش در اون زندگی میکردن، کتابی رو مینویسه که زندگی هفت نسل از خانواده اش رو روایت میکنه، به این امید «که این سرگذشت،
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Roots, Alex Haley
عنوان: ریشه ها؛ نویسنده: الکس هیلی؛ مترجم: علیرضا فرهمند؛ تهران، خوارزمی، 1357؛ در 695 ص؛ چاپ دوم: تهران، امیرکبیر، 1361؛ چاپ سوم 1363؛ چهارم 1367؛ پنجم 1369؛ ششم 1382؛ هفتم 1387؛ هشتم 1388؛ نهم و دهم 1392؛ یازدهم 1393؛ شابک: 9789643030506؛ چاپ دوازدهم 1394؛ در 775 ص؛ شابک: 9789640018224؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 م
عنوان: ریشه ها؛ نویسنده: الکس هیلی؛ مترجم: محمدتقی کرباسی؛ حسن مروی؛ تهران، جاویدان، 1366؛ در 416 ص؛ چاپ ششم 1387؛ شابک: 9786005381061؛
داستان، وضعیت
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 15, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Ultimate Reading List - History
The teenage self who first read this book would have given it five stars without hesitation. The conception is brilliant. I don't think there's a better way to really absorb history, and really inspire people to dig deeper, than what this purported to do. To really have you come face to face with history by telling the story of one family, especially in fictional narrative form, where people of the past can be brought vividly to mind as people who bled and sweated and struggled. And Alex Haley h ...more
Emma
Jun 17, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I think it significantly affected my reading of Roots having come to it with the knowledge that Haley had been accused of plagiarism by Harold Courlander "The African" and Margaret Walker Alexander "Jubilee". While nothing can undermine the horrors experienced by slaves during this period, there was some question in my mind about the integrity of the author and thus, his ability to accurately portray these truths, even within the framework of fiction.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny the s
...more
Bettie☯
Feb 09, 2017 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC TV Watchers


"Based on Alex Haley’s novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, whose 1977 TV adaptation remains one of the most-watched dramas in US TV history, this powerful story remains as relevant today as it was nearly forty years ago."source
Ramazan yahaghi
سالها قبل خوانده ام. من که با آدمهایش زندگی کردم. فکر کنم اگر دوباره بخوانم هم بازهم این تجربه تکرارشود. بلاخره کتاب مشهور و شاید هم از آثار کلاسیک باشد.
لونا
Aug 27, 2012 لونا rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
تعجب كونتا كنتي من بعض أفراد قبيلته الذين كانوا عبيداً عندهم مقابل الأكل والشرب أو مقابل حياتهم لكونهم كانوا في الأصل إما أعداء أو سجناء .. واستغرب قبولهم و ارتضاءهم لهذا الوضع، فاستفسر من والده الذي رد عليه بقوله:-

لقد أصبحوا عبيداً عندما لم يكونوا شجعاناً لدرجة يفضلون الموت عن الأسر



هكذا تربى "كونتا كنتي"، أن العبد شخص يدعوا للاحتقار، كيف لا وهو سليل عائلته الذائعة الصيت بتاريخها وثقافتها .. .. ولكن بين ليلة وضحاها يصبح عبداً أيضاًعندما قُبض عليه من قِبل تجار العبيد وعبر البحر من "جامبيا" إلى
...more
محمد على عطية
أعتقد أن عدداً لا بأس به من جيلى - مواليد أوائل الثمانينيات - قد شاهد المسلسل الأجنبى الشهير المأخوذ عن هذه الرواية.و من شاهد المسلسل تعرف من خلاله على فترة من أكثر فترات التاريخ الأمريكى إنحطاطاً...هى الفترة التى اتسمت بتجارة الرقيق المختطف من أفريقيا.
بدأت قراءة الرواية ولدى شوقلإستعادة ذكرى هذا المسلسل الذى شاهدته فى طفولتى, و لكنى أُخذت بأسلوب أليكس هيلى المشوق و الجميل فى وصفه....و طوال القراءة كنت أتخيل كم المجهود الذى بذله الكاتب ليصل إلى قصص 6 أجيال سابقة من أسلافه منذ الجد الأفريقى المسل
...more
Suvi
I appreciate the author's research of his own roots and the overall message this book has. The problem I had with it was that the writing style was uninteresting. It wasn't bad but it made the characters too two-dimensional for me to enjoy the story overall. They were all empty and I couldn't cheer for them or feel for them. But I understand why the book is important to some and why it has the position it has, I just didn't notice the literary value it supposedly has. Plus the plagiarism accusat ...more
Jennifer
this is a perfect example of a book that would benefit from GR offering different rating criteria, rather than just one overall rating.

because of the cultural and historical significance of roots, it deserves 5-stars. but because i was really expecting much stronger writing and a smoother style - i mean, he's got 900 pages to work with here; it's not like there's a shortage of space - i feel like the book was only 2 to 3-stars on the quality of writing.

i did very much enjoy the dialects haley
...more
Jennifer
Apr 07, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is probably the book that started my historical fiction fixation. I read this in my early teenage years along with the Clan of the Cavebear books, Gone With The Wind and the North and South series.

I love how it brings history to life. The characters are real and you can sympathize with their situations -- particularly Kunta Kinte's. It made the horrible practice of slavery real and how it dehumanizing it was. I think that reading it at a young age made me into a more compassionate person.
...more
Matt
Jun 01, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Alex Haley's novel is more than just a piece of award-winning literature, but a glimpse into the soul of America's lifeblood, even though it touches on areas that many would likely wish to see forgotten. In the opening portion of the novel, Haley introduces the reader to the small villages of Gambia, where one Kunta Kinte is born and raised. Kunta explores a life of simplicity but also relative complexity, as he grows up learning the ways of his people, always warned about the dangers of the whi ...more
Laura
Feb 09, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Four:
A historical portrait of American slavery, recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship.

Episode 1
Juffere, West Africa, 1767 - young, proud Kunta Kinte is being initiated as a Mandinka warrior and ready to start thinking about his future. But a feud with a rival family results in him being kidnapped and sold to English slave traders, who are in the business of transporting shiploads of enslaved
...more
عــــادي
Apr 05, 2011 عــــادي rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
description


كيف لها ألا تسكب ( بنها ) دمعاً ، قهوتي في حضرة ( الجذور ) ترسم صورة ذاك الصبي ( كونتا كونتي ) الفتى المسلم الذي أُنتزع من أحضان أدغال أفريقيا ليلقى به في جحيم العبودية رواية مأساوية لأحداث حقيقية تفاعلت معها بكل مشاعري بعد أن تنتصف الرواية ستصعقك مفاجأة إقشعر لها جسدي حين قال ( وطرقا الباب يحملان طفلا ) وإستطرد الكاتب ( هذا الطفل كان أنا ) !! لم أشاء أن أفسدها عليكم فقط أردت تجسيد إحساسي :)
فقد بدأت علاقتي بهذه الرواية مذ صغري إذ حكت لي أمي عن مسلسل عرض في السبعينيات على التلفزيون السعودي ( بالأ
...more
P.S. Winn
Jan 23, 2014 P.S. Winn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't read this amazing story, you have to grab it. The author not only found his own past but has shared it with readers in a remarkable way. You can't help but fall in love with the family and empathize with their plight. Some day I woiuld love to be able to look up my own ancestors and find the lives they came before and the legacy left behind, great job!
Horace Derwent
Aug 05, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the tv series was one of the rarest tv series which were imported into china when i was small(fucking early 90's), and i ass-rimmedly loved it. i can now still remember that excrement and vomit filled blackbirder cabin

much more imprinted than the tub YIKES!scene of The Cormorant,,,...///囧
Linda I
"Roots" is the supposed genealogical recounting of Alex Haley's African roots to his great-great-great grandfather, Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka tribesman who was captured and sold into slavery. The story follows Kunta through his upbringing in Gambia, capture, voyage across the sea, sale, attempted escapes, mutilation at the hands of slave capturers, marriage to slave housekeeper and the birth of his daughter Kizzy. The story then follows Kizzy's sale to another owner and the birth of her son, Georg ...more
Amanda
I respect Haley's purpose in writing Roots: to offer his family's history as an example and surrogate for many black Americans whose African lineages have been forgotten because of "the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners." However, I had a great problem with how Roots was researched and written. Firstly, I'm perturbed by the controversy of plagiarism and inauthenticity surrounding Roots. I don't think you need to market something as "fact" for it to be import ...more
Sawsan Alotaibi
May 31, 2012 Sawsan Alotaibi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أوصي-به
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الجذور
كتبت يوم الأحد: 13 / رجب / 1433هـ


رواية كتبها " إليكس هيلي" عن معاناة الأفارقة المنزوعين من تربتهم وأرضهم إلى أمريكا الشمالية للعبودية، ومعاملتهم معاملة الأشياء، وسلب آدميّتهم. مجسدة في رمز البطل " كونتا كنتي" وما تعرض له مما يشيب له الرأس من العذاب والمهانة. ما أنتج حجماً من الألم وكماً من التعاطف الذي غمر النفس عند نهاية الرواية، بعد تحقق حلم العودة خلال 200 عام من العبودية والنفي! في شخص المؤلف الباحثِ عن جذوره الأفريقية. حتى تقف النفس باكية لا بمقدار تلك الوحشية في
...more
Charles
Dec 13, 2015 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I know there has been controversy concerning this book, how much is true and how much fiction. And there has been a charge of plagiarism for one section, which Haley admitted. But the experience of reading this book is overwhelmingly powerful. Some of it is very hard to read emotionally, but it holds a connection with the reader. It is definitely 'not' a book about the horrors of slavery, at least in my opinion, although there are certainly horrors within it. It is, instead, a book about human b ...more
Kristine
I think I read this book about when I was 9. It was summer and it was on my parents shelf so I picked it up to read. I LOVED IT! Even at such a young age. I remember it took me a while to finish but it was compelling, so I kept reading (it's 900 pgs). I think reading the vivid imagery of the slave trade and their treatment was one thing that helped me develop a lot of compassion -- I CARE so much (ok probably too much) about those who've been wronged. And WOW did it open my eyes!! After reading ...more
Duane
Magnificent. An epic chronicle of a family through many generations of cruelty, hardship and suffering. But it's much more than that really; it's the history of slavery in America. What happened to the characters in this book happened to millions of others and it's a story that needed to be told and Alex Haley did a masterful job of telling it. Roots should be required reading in high schools because all of us, regardless of age, race, or gender should understand this history. You can't tell the ...more
Ahmed
Aug 05, 2012 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

رواية مؤلمة جدا

كيف يجتث الإنسان من جذوره !!

كيف تسلب حرية الإنسان لمجرد إختلاف لونه !!

كيف يُغيّر دين الإنسان لمجرد أنه لا يملك من أمر نفسه شيئا !!

كيف يقتطع جزء من جسمه لإذلاله و التحكم فيه !!

كيف يباع أبناءه لمجرد مخالفتهم للأوامر !!

رواية تفضح الوجه الحقيقي و العنصري للأمريكان الملاعين
ما أثار إندهاشي كيف أن المجتمع الإسلامي في جوفور برغم إيمانه الشديد بالله و تطبيقه للشريعة
مازال يؤمن بالخرافات و السحر !!
Sandi
I somehow missed reading Roots when it was new and fresh. I also never watched the iconic miniseries based on the book. I do remember that both book and miniseries created quite a buzz in the Seventies. I've recently been reading a bit of African-American fiction and a smaller bit of non-fiction about slavery and race issues. It seemed to me that I would eventually need to read Roots simply because of its impact. When I saw it on sale at Audible for $4.95, I snatched it up. As a bonus, the narra ...more
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Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an American writer. He is best known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, and of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the latter of which he wrote in collaboration with Malcolm X.
More about Alex Haley...

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“The first time he had taken the massa to one of these "high-falutin' to-dos," as Bell called them, Kunta had been all but overwhelmed by conflicting emotions: awe, indignation, envy, contempt, fascination, revulsion—but most of all a deep loneliness and melancholy from which it took him almost a week to recover. He couldn't believe that such incredible wealth actually existed, that people really lived that way. It took him a long time, and a great many more parties, to realize that they didn't live that way, that it was all strangely unreal, a kind of beautiful dream the white folks were having, a lie they were telling themselves: that goodness can come from badness, that it's possible to be civilized with one another without treating as human beings those whose blood, sweat, and mother's milk made possible the life of privilege they led.” 22 likes
“Is this how you repay my goodness--with badness?” cried the boy. “Of course,” said the crocodile out of the corner of his mouth. “That is the way of the world.” 21 likes
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