First published forty years ago, Roots electrified the nation: it received a Pulitzer Prize and was a #1 New York Times bestseller for 22 weeks. In the four decades since then, the story of the young African slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants has lost none of its power to enthrall and provoke.
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)