Making roots: A nation captivated

Matthew Delmont

Research output: Book/ReportBook

3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of California Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9780520965133
ISBN (Print)9780520291324
StatePublished - Aug 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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