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Roots: The Saga of an American Family Paperback – May 3, 2016
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About the Author
- Lexile measure : 1330L
- Item Weight : 2.01 pounds
- Paperback : 912 pages
- ISBN-10 : 030682485X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0306824852
- Dimensions : 8.2 x 5.5 x 2.1 inches
- Publisher : Da Capo Press; Media tie-in edition (May 3, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As we have learned in these pages, the roots of the Kinte family are African. I am also from an American family - with German roots. My husband is from an American family - with African roots.
I am not directly or personally responsible for any atrocities related to slavery, nor do I personally know anyone who has been the victim of slavery directly. Maybe because of that, I have had an impersonal attitude toward slavery and if I am being honest, I think I resented being lumped together with those of my race that were responsible for it.
I will confess that, although I had heard of Roots and had been aware of slavery’s impact on America, I had not given either the respect they are due until I married my African-American husband. In an effort to understand his heritage, I chose to read this haunting narrative and it will surely haunt me for the rest of my life! The images and emotions portrayed in these pages have changed me.
Having read Roots, I now have a deep conviction of the wrongs that have been committed. It is my prayer that I and those I have influence over will make every effort to do better for all generations to follow. May that be my legacy to my children and grandchildren and beyond, to in some small way, right a wrong and teach a better way.
Every American, regardless of their race, has roots from somewhere else. Every American, regardless of their roots, has a heart, a soul, a dream, a need. Every American loves, hopes, laughs, cries, hurts and suffers in their own way. May God help us all to see the things we have in common and use those things to unite us and build a future where cruelty no longer exists. Yes, that would be a legacy worth leaving!
—— Peggy Lee, Houston, TX
The story is still just as good but the kindle version must have been scanned in with OCR and never checked! I understand that the book was originally published before PCs and general use of word processors and it is a BIG book but still, if you're going to charge for it, fix it.
The spelling and text errors are appalling. Even just a few chapters in, it's hard to read at times. The letter "l" is often lost with "wel" instead of "well" (sometimes with a space and sometimes without). Spaces in the middle of words is also common -- such as "mar about" rather than "marabout".
There's even the string "1}" in the middle of it with no understanding of why it's there!
Come on, don't ruin a good story because people can't read it! Please fix the editing and send us a good copy of it!
Now with that said after 17% of trying to read this book, I gave up and ordered an audio version. I followed along with the kindle version while listening. It was terrible! Whoever typed this book for e-readers and their editor needs fired. The amount of mistakes was crazy. Names were spelled wrong (Cunta or Kunta? Ole George or OF George? Tom or Torn?), words were spelled wrong (so wrong they were indeciferable), the wrong World War was typed (should have been II): I mean no one looked at this. It was a level of terrible that should make Amazon ashamed.
Top reviews from other countries
The first hundred pages deals with the birth and life of Kunta Kinte until he is captured. These pages are essential to understanding the enormity of the new and horrific life awaiting Kunta in the plantations. The chapters dealing with the boat trip to America made me feel physically sick by times but I couldn't turn away. Alex Haley did a masterful job of describing the horrific life on the Plantation and of creating well rounded characters that by the end I felt I knew like close friends. Yes this book is a very tough read by times but I cannot recommend it highly enough. Also, I know that to some the size of the book coupled with the small writing might be a bit off putting but please don't let this bother you - it is such a great story that by the end you will actually be wishing for a just a few more pages!
Another thing that really annoyed me, was Haley's way of indicating what was happening in the wider world at the time, his way of presenting all the great historical moments (like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, etc...) This dialogue, where characters would tell what news they had heard or read, was obvioulsy contrived. No slaves (or anyone at that time, actually) would have spoken about those events the way Haley has them spoken about. It sounds rediculous.
And it seems that Haley didn't do his research well here, either, but rather relied on what he had learned in high school, no matter how inaccrate. For instance, in the book the slaves are all talking about how Lincoln (before he is elected President) is going to free them. But anyone with a little knowledge of Civil War history, knows that Lincoln never said such a thing. He had no intention of freeing slaves and was hardly an abolitionist. There were other Presidential canditates who were much more likely to free the slaves. If the slaves had their hopes on anyone, it would have been Seward or Chase, not Lincoln. Lincoln was a dark horse when he was elected at the Republican convention. He was hardly known outside of Illinois. I doubt any slaves were speaking about him the way they did in this book. It doesn't make sense. And there are many other mistakes, as well. It is very poor history.
But no matter these points, at the end of the day, it is a great story. I couldn't put it down. The parts that take place before the Civil War are much more detailed and better written, then the parts after. Unfortunate really, as I would have liked to know more about his family's experience during reconstruction, but nonetheless, I was hooked, and was really sad to see the story end. For anyone who wants to learn about the Negro experience in America, this book is a must read. I would definitely recommend.
I'm on the 26th chapter and just about giving up on the kindle edition; my faithful old 1980s paperwork edition may be tatty and worn, but bloody hell it's much easier to read.