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Download Roots: The Saga of an American Family Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Roots: The Saga of an American Family, by Alex Haley Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001711156742 out of 54.00001711156742 out of 54.00001711156742 out of 54.00001711156742 out of 54.00001711156742 out of 5 4.00 (58,440 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alex Haley Narrator: Avery Brooks Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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"Roots: The Saga of an American Family" is a story that many of us know well. Even if you've read the book or watched the late 70's TV miniseries, listening to the audiobook adaptation narrated by the acclaimed actor Avery Brooks will give you a new appreciation for this fascinating and tragic historical account.

This audiobook has served as an important part of African American history and culture for years. It chronicles the findings of the author upon learning about his roots, which brought him back to Africa, and began with the birth of a baby. Alex remembers when he was a young child and sitting with his grandmother, who told him stories about his family tree; stories that reached back many generations to a time of slavery.

Alex's grandmother referred to the main character in her stories as "The African". It would take Alex doing further research into his family's history to uncover the real name of "The African", which he found out was Kunta Kinte.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family will bring you back to the birth of Kunta Kinte, taking you through the day he was brought to Colonial America on a slave ship. You'll revisit his heartaches and those of his soon-to-be family members and they live their lives as slaves in a new world that's so unfamiliar and so cruel. This audiobook will give you a new respect for African American history, as well as a newfound appreciation for the trials and tribulations they faced during a very dark time in our nation's history.

Alex Haley was an accomplished writer and worked for many publications, including The Reader's Digest. He had the great privilege of interviewing some of the most influential people in our country. His interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is said to be the most lengthy interview King ever allowed with anyone. Alex co-wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X and was a voice against racism until his death in 1992.

It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And 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.

When Alex was a boy growing up in Tennessee, his grandmother used to tell him stories about their family, stories that went way back to a man she called “the African” who was taken aboard a slave ship bound for Colonial America. As an adult, Alex spent twelve years searching for documentation that might authenticate what his grandmother had told him. In an astonishing feat of genealogical detective work, he discovered the name of “the African”—Kunta Kinte—as well as the exact location of the village in West Africa from where he was abducted in 1767. Roots is based on the facts of his ancestry, and the six generations of people—slaves and freemen, farmers and lawyers, an architect, a teacher—and one acclaimed author—who descended from Kunta Kinte.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “This 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 (London)

  • “Groundbreaking.”

    Associated Press

  • “Brooks’ 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.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “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.”


  • “[Brooks’] powerful baritone voice is…evocative, scholarly, and descriptive.

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2007 AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
  • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Special Award
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2008 Audie Award for Nonfiction
  • Awarded a National Book Award Special Citation of Merit

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alex Ingles | 2/15/2014

    " Alex Haley did an incredible job researching his family's lineage which in the book begins in Africa over 250 years ago. He does a fine job writing about each generation's struggle from Kunta Kinte's horrific capture and voyage to America only to have himself be enslaved for the rest of his life, along with his future generations not knowing what lay ahead for themselves. Freedom was always on the back of his family's minds but not knowing when, if ever it would come about, each generation did the best they could under the circumstances. Towards the end of the book, you finally feel the sense that this family finally "made" it, deservedly so. It's a great book in a sense that the author acknowledges that the family that he wrote about was his and that his greatest achievement was him being an author that could take the time and diligence to write this important book to understand and know where he and his family came from. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Hannah | 2/15/2014

    " This was a great book and really well researched. My favorite part was the beginning part about Kunta. I found the information about African history to be absorbing. It was very easy to get through even though it was 700ish pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Karen | 2/14/2014

    " Saw the movie in my younger days - thought it was about time to read the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Karam | 2/7/2014

    " Roots is a book that everyone should read. "

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