Making Roots: A Nation Captivated

Univ of California Press
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When Alex Haley’s book Roots was published by Doubleday in 1976 it became an immediate bestseller. The television series, broadcast by ABC in 1977, became the most popular miniseries of all time, captivating over a hundred million Americans. For the first time, Americans saw slavery as an integral part of the nation’s history. With a remake of the series in 2016 by A&E Networks, Roots has again entered the national conversation. In Making “Roots,” Matthew F. Delmont looks at the importance, contradictions, and limitations of mass culture and examines how Roots pushed the boundaries of history. Delmont investigates the decisions that led Alex Haley, Doubleday, and ABC to invest in the story of Kunta Kinte, uncovering how Haley’s original, modest book proposal developed into an unprecedented cultural phenomenon.
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About the author

Matthew F. Delmont is Professor of History at Arizona State University and the author of Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation and The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ’n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia, both published by UC Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Univ of California Press
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Published on
Aug 2, 2016
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9780520965133
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 21st Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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 bookVideo introduction and interview with David WilsonNew video interview with Tom BrokawFootage 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 familyEssay by Alex HaleyReading Group GuideIntroduction by Michael Eric DysonExtended biography of Haley
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