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  • Roots

  • Written by: Alex Haley
  • Narrated by: Avery Brooks
  • Length: 30 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Roots

Written by: Alex Haley
Narrated by: Avery Brooks
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Publisher's Summary

Tracing his ancestory through six generations - slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lawyers and architects - back to Africa, Alex Haley discovered a sixteen-year-old youth, Kunta Kinte. It was this young man, who had been torn from his homeland and and in torment and anguish brought to the slave markets of the New World, who held the key to Haley's deep and distant past.

©2011 Alex Hayley (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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grate listen

among the best book I've read so far. amazing naration by Avery Brooks. didn't let me sleep untill i finished it.

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exceptional

exceptional narration to a beautifully written book. A moving account of mankind's struggles , flaws and grit.

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My review of 'Roots'.

Roots by Alex Haley:

This masterpiece book was snatched by me in 1983 from my very close friend when he came visiting me but failed to read it till now as I did not find it intellectually seductive enough to read it and can not give any rhyme and reason for it. The book kept lying in my shelf of books unread till i lost it somewhere during the spate of transfers from one place to the other and i had no regrets for it as it remained a fruit whose taste and flavour was unknown to me oblivious of what i had missed.

Now with audio version of it at my hand,i listened it and admonished myself for not being able to read this gem of a fictional history of one black african Kunta Kintey and his clan of 7 generations who was brutally abducted from his native Gambia(west africa) by slave traders sometime in 1767 and was brought to the the shores of America and sold to plantation owners of Virginia in deep south.

It is a saga of inhuman brutality of slavery with all its ugly reminders.It exposes the hypocrisy of the western civilization which never ever failed to boast about their gift of charter of equality,liberty and fraternity to rest of the humanity.Against the backdrop of murderous and remorsless of treatment meted out to the early black slaves ,every pious utterence of theirs in the favour of rule of law,justice,piety sounds hollow.

Though the american war of indepndence(1778-1785) is considered as a landmark revolution for democracy and emancipation for humans world over, it meant nothing to black slaves of America . The blacks remained bound to the yoke of slavery till the abolition of slavery by Abraham Lincoln by his famous enancipation proclamation of 1863. Even after that,the cruelty and bias towards the blacks continued in 20th century and it took the sacrifices of likes of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King (junior) and others among black americans to get them equal voting rights as late as in 1965.

It shows that the so called primitive African civilization may lack in material benefits of western world but had a strong social structure, vigorous family bonds,though eking their living out of subsistence farming facing the cruel vagaries of nature but had very powerful bonds of clan,religion, and family to not only survive but to live happily against occasional grim onsloughts of nature and circumstances they were in.

It is a fascinating tale of patriarch Kunta Kintey who while facing the constant savagery and barbarism at the hands of his white masters never once forgot who he was, the memory of his native place and religion he belonged to.The message he passed unfailingly to his daughter Kissy about his african identity, few key words of language of his mandinga tribe to keep her alive to his history and origin.Later,these fragments of memory were passed over to each successive generation by alert members even when they were wickedly snatched away,separated and sold to various masters but the legend continued to reverberate generation after generation.

It is a nareative of grit,enterprise,courage,and sheer perseverence of a man and his clan to fight against relentless brutality of white masters for generations and still rise again , shine and establish themselves as an equal to all whites.The chronicle also completely shatters the myth that enterprise,intelligence,acumen wisdom,belongs to white men alone.Blacks,or for that matter any humans of any colour or creed can reach to the pinnacle, if only equal opportunities are given to them and the society treats them in just and impartial manner.

Alex Haley the author is a seventh generation member of Kunta Kintey clan from maternal side goes to search for his african roots when he also listens to the message of his great great grand pappy from his mother n successfully traces his roots and history of more than 200 years to the last detail and a last man. After a arduous research and scanning documents of slaves from England to America and meeting hordes of blacks and whites,he was lucky to cut the gordion knot .His lucid narration of his search of his roots is a high moment of this fictionalized history and makes your eyes welled up as if the story belongs to you as much to the Alex.The emotional tug of this history is too strong to remain unaffected as it has an universal message and appeal to deliver.

The orient is known for its escapism and scant appreciation of present in the favour of unseen,unobserved 'nirvana' afterlife.Our Upnishads,buddhism preach ephemerality n insignificance of life and even deny any identity to the self. Kunta Kintey was just unaware of these philosophical rigmoroles,for him his identity was rooted firmly on the soil of his native Gambia and Islam and uncannilly knew what it means to him and rest of his clan.He understood that a body may perish,nothing of his identity may survive but he could still live in the lives his successive generations to keep alive the spirit and fragrance of his native Gambia and he succeeds in it giving immense pleasure to readers.

It is ironical,that the mankind's big boast about equality have an ample evidence to the contrary that they have not been able to get rid of an extremely grotesque misconception of racial superiority of whites over blacks,browns and the rest;of brahmins over the rest of the castes,and not only that we remain ever ready to create Auschwitz,purges,apartheid,genocide,of their fellow beings when it has been proved amply that entire mankind draws its lineage from one black women of Africa few hundred of thousand years back,but if there is a limit to the universe,there is no limit of human stupidity,to quote Einestein.The racial cleansing of Hitler in Germany(1938-1945) and continuation of apartheid in South Africa till 1990 are only a grim reminders of it.


This book is just among the few which have to be read only as an shocking reminder to our heinous crimes we have committed and continue to commit against our fellow humans out of our sheer greed, arrogance,and insanity.It is also to be read for the celebration of beauty of diversity of humanity and man's unflinching quest facing all odds for his roots of origin and culture.
Highly recommonded.
Rating:*****.
aneeel49@yahoo.com
saxenaanil072@ gmail.com





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Yagna

While I read the Book in my formative days and felt heavy, the Best thing that has happened is listening to this on Audible when I am Sixty!! This Book is nothing short of a “Yagna” O consider it at par with the Best Books Man kind has ever known like a “Maha Bharat” or “Atlas Shrugged” etc. many times I had to hide my face so that my Driver doesn’t observe me sobbing 🙏🙏🙏

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Illuminating and transforming

A riveting account of the African-American history simply told through the author's ancestry. The circumstances and events described helped the listener understand the experiences of the original slaves and their emergence as free Americans. The concluding chapters explaining how the story was researched is a great help to establish the authenticity of the narrative. The listening was a pleasure. I could feel myself experiencing those events narrated and the feelings which the characters felt. An immersive experience which improved my understanding of the African-American. I will happily recommend the book to anyone with the slightest interest in American history.

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HEART WRENCHING STORY

I read ROOTS long back, probably 20 years ago, but it is a powerful story and was as mesmerising and heart wrenching as when I first read it. Man's cruelty to their fellow beings is just unbelievable.

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Extremely impactful, a classic, read with panache!

A must read/listen! Extremely impactful, a classic, read with panache! Highly recommend.. A great one to start off Audible with! Great company for my walks and jogs!

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Human Resilience beyond imagination

The story (true) brings out, on one hand all the cruelty that humans can exhibit; and on the other the courage, determination & faith that can counter all adversities.

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an adventure, a survival

this was a great history lesson informing about the black slavery in 1700s in America. portions on the book brought tears and the strength by which people endured the hardships was just amazing. a must read.

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Outstanding book and narration

What a phenomenal story and research. a must read for everyone. Moreover made even more interesting with the stupendous audio naration!! The best audio book I've listened to

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