From Publishers Weekly
It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Alex Haley's groundbreaking historical novel (based on his own family's history) was first published and became a worldwide phenomenon. Millions have read the story of the young African boy named Kunte Kinte, who in the late 1700s was kidnapped from his homeland and brought to the United States as a slave. Haley follows Kunte Kinte's family line over the next seven generations, creating a moving historical novel spanning 200 years. Avery Brooks proves to be the perfect choice to bring Haley's devastatingly powerful piece of American literature to audio. Brooks's rich, deep baritone brings a deliberate, dignified, at times almost reverential interpretation to his reading, but never so reserved as to forget that at its heart this is a story about people and family. His multiple characterizations manage, with a smooth and accomplished ease, to capture the true essence of each individual in the book. Michael Eric Dyson offers an informative introduction to Haley's book, but it is Brooks's performance that brings the author's words and history to life.
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This is the thirtieth anniversary of this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Presenting the life of the captured and enslaved African Kunte Kinte and his American descendants as representative ancestors for contemporary African-Americans, Haley initiated a dialogue on race in America not experienced since the writing of UNCLE TOMS CABIN. Those audiophiles who have heard Avery Brooks speak extemporaneously are aware of his idiosyncratic speech pattern. Being the consummate actor, Brooks has immersed himself into the role of narrator. In fact, it is difficult to describe what Avery Brooks does in this audiobook. He neither narrates nor performs, rather, he conjures. He brings the plethora of characters to life as memory, as history, as the pawns of diaspora. His narration begins in reverential tones as an homage to a literary masterwork, yet he ends it as a roar against racism. P.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Best Audiobook of 2007 © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Revue de presse
"The book is an act of love, and it is this which makes it haunting" (New York Times
"A gripping mixture of urban confessional and political manifesto, it not only inspired a generation of black activists, but drove home the bitter realities of racism to a mainstream white liberal audience" (Observer
"Groundbreaking" (Associated Press
"A Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the family ancestry of author Alex Haley... [and] a symbolic chronicle of the odyssey of African Americans from the continent of Africa to a land not of their choosing" (Washington Post
Présentation de l'éditeur
Roots: The Enhanced Edition features rare interviews with author Alex Haley from the NBC News Archives that took place as the Roots phenomenon unfolded over 30 years ago. There are also photos, footage, and recordings from the Haley family, all of which provide a unique understanding of Alex Haley’s journey researching and writing the book. In new video interviews NBC’s Tom Brokaw and David Wilson reflect on the story’s lasting impact.
Roots is a groundbreaking story of history and family that spanned continents and touched generations. 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, and we continue to feel its reverberations today.
Roots: The Enhanced Edition is truly definitive--adding unmatched, sweep, context and insight to this ever-relevant classic.
The Enhanced Edition features:
• Full text of the book
• Video introduction and interview with David Wilson
• New video interview with Tom Brokaw
• Footage of author Alex Haley provided by the NBC News Archives and the Haley family, including Today Show interviews with Tom Brokaw, Roots-related events in the 1970s, an extended interview about the book, and more (45 minutes of video)
• Recordings of Alex Haley speaking about researching and writing the book (30 minutes of audio)
• 10 rare photos from the Haley family
• Essay by Alex Haley
• Reading Group Guide
• Introduction by Michael Eric Dyson
• Extended biography of Haley
This monumental Pulitzer Prize-winning saga and iconic bestseller is available for the first time on audio. Roots
begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. In that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.
Presented unabridged on 24 CDs.
This "bold . . . extraordinary . . . blockbuster . . ". (Newsweek) begins with a birth in 1750, in an African village; it ends seven generations later at the Arkansas funeral of a black professor 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.
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.
Biographie de l'auteur
Alex Haley taught himself to write during a twenty-year stint in the US Coast Guard. He became its first Chief Journalist, a position he held until he retired in 1959 to become a magazine writer and interviewer. His first book was The Autobiography of Malcolm X, after which he spent twelve years researching and writing Roots, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Alex Haley died in Seattle, Washington in 1992.
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 Malcolm 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
, available from Random House Value Publishing, and Queen
, a sequel to ROOTS. Haley died in 1992.