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Roots: The Saga of an American Family

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  133,875 ratings  ·  2,993 reviews
When he was a boy in Henning, Tennessee, Alex Haley's grandmother used to tell him stories about their family—stories that went back to her grandparents, and their grandparents, down through the generations all the way to a man she called "the African." She said he had lived across the ocean near what he called the "Kamby Bolongo" and had been out in the forest one day cho ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 729 pages
Published November 1st 1977 by Dell Publishing Co., Inc. (first published 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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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  133,875 ratings  ·  2,993 reviews

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Nandakishore Varma
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Roots: The Saga of an American Family = Roots, Alex Haley
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent, sold into slavery in Africa, transported to North America; following his life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Haley. The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation, Roots (1977), led to a cul
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
Magnificent. The 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 th ...more
Tea Jovanović
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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... :)
Jul 03, 2007 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
Tayebe Ej
Jan 01, 2015 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،
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am at least a fifth generation genealogist. I was ten when this book was first published and made into a miniseries. But, I was allowed to stay up that entire week of January 23 – January 30, 1977 to watch it in its entirety. I thought the cast did an excellent job. To this day, I still believe that the book was much better than the movie. But, as Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. once pointed out, "Most of us feel it's highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village whence his ancestors sprang. ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I opened the cover of this book with eagerness and excitement. In fact, I informed my family I was finally reading Roots and I would be out of commission for the week!

I was then greeted by 192 pages of some of the dullest prose I have ever encountered.

Dull and monotonous writing. Zero character development. The exotic locale of Africa reduced to sand and thorns, with a few cardboard cut-outs of Africans standing around.

Then, on page 192 (out of 900), conflict finally creates the true beginning
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why I've never read this book before now. It's excellent. Yes, as a Midwestern, middle-aged white person, the repeated use of the N-word was jarring, but definitely necessary to the story. It got a point across that I don't think would have been properly conveyed any other way. I'm going to re-watch the miniseries soon. It came out when I was in grade school, so I don't remember it well. But I highly recommend the book.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
African-American writer Haley based this book on the oral stories of his family history, handed down to him as a child by his grandmother, who was part of a chain of family memory-keepers going back to the 18th century, to (and even before) the arrival of their ancestor Kunta Kinte in this country as a kidnapped slave. As an adult, Haley painstakingly researched the historical written records to confirm and amplify these stories, even traveling to West Africa, where a griot --a keeper of tribal ...more
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 27, 2012 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
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.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
از کودکی کیزی به بعد رو خوندم. خوب بود
Jun 17, 2016 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
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
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember watching the mini series of this book on TV around the same time we were studying about early American history in school. I finally got my hands on this book a few years back when a friend lent it to me and since she was clearing her bookshelf I was more than happy to keep the copy...I still have it! A gripping and gritting portrayal of the story of a tribal prince, Kunta Kinte, who is snatched from his homeland of Africa and thrown into a nightmare of slavery in America and how not o ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
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
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Horace Derwent
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Sawsan Alotaibi
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: أوصي-به
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
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
Vicky Ziliaskopoulou
Πρόκειται για την ιστορία της οικογένειας του κ. Haley, όπως την άκουσε μέσα από διηγήσεις γεροντότερων και από κάποια έρευνα που έκανε ο ίδιος. Για εμένα, το βιβλίο είναι εξαιρετικά ανομοιογενές. Και θα εξηγήσω παρακάτω τι ακριβώς εννοώ.
Το πρώτο μισό του βιβλίου είναι η ιστορία της ζωής του Κούντα Κίντε. Ξεκινά με τη γέννησή του και τα έθιμα που επικρατούν στο μικρό χωριό του κάπου στην Γκάμπια, το Τζουφούρε (για όσους έχετε τη λόξα να ψάχνετε περισσότερο τα πράγματα πιστεύω ότι είναι αυτό που
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
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African American History 3 23 Jul 01, 2018 12:34PM  
Play Book Tag: Roots - Alex Haley 5/5 6 30 Nov 17, 2017 02:12PM  
Will see... 2 5 Sep 15, 2017 09:56PM  
Name of a book I loved and read over and over years sgo 4 20 Sep 06, 2017 09:14AM  
FACTION NOVELS (n...: Roots 1 11 May 01, 2017 09:59AM  
Around the Year i...: Roots, by Alex Haley 6 39 May 25, 2016 01:29PM  
Play Book Tag: Roots by Alex Haley / 4**** 4 12 Apr 23, 2016 03:48PM  
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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.
“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.” 26 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.” 25 likes
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