• Home
  • Reviews
  • New York Times Sunday Review, January 8, 2016

New York Times Sunday Review, January 8, 2016

In 1977 Alex Haley, the author of the best-selling “Autobiography of Malcolm X,” achieved world renown after ABC broadcast an eight-part version of his book “Roots,” published the previous year to great acclaim. “Roots,” which chronicled Haley’s search for his African ancestors (and in doing so created a template for the genealogical boom reflected in popular series like “Finding Your Roots,” with Henry Louis Gates Jr.), became an international phenomenon that turned the financially insecure Haley into an icon. Yet Haley’s newfound celebrity and wealth proved to be a double-edged sword. Allegations of plagiarism and historical inaccuracies scarred him, diminishing his literary reputation, and, argues the historian Robert J. Norrell in his briskly paced “Alex Haley: And the Books That Changed a Nation,” unfairly tarnished the author of “the two most influential books on African-American history in the second half of the 20th century.”

Read Full Review

Posted in Reviews