First-edition dust jacket cover of Roots- The Saga of an American Family, the 1976 historical novel by Alex Haley. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Roots: The Saga of An American Family

Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a 1976 novel written by Alex Haley. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent, sold into slavery in Africa and transported to North America, following his life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Haley. The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation, Roots (1977), led to a cultural sensation in the United States.

The novel spent forty-six weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, including twenty-two weeks at number one. The last seven chapters of the novel were later adapted in the form of a second miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations (1979). It stimulated interest in African American genealogy and an appreciation for African American history.

Historical drama, Roots, based on Alex Haley’s book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” was watched by over 130 million people. The broadcast of this series increases interest in travel to Africa to trace roots.