5 interesting facts about alex haley
Alex Haley: And the Books That Changed a Nation by Robert J. NorrellIt is difficult to think of two twentieth century books by one author that have had as much influence on American culture when they were published as Alex Haleys monumental bestsellers, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), and Roots (1976). They changed the way white and black America viewed each other and the countrys history. This first biography of Haley follows him from his childhood in relative privilege in deeply segregated small town Tennessee to fame and fortune in high powered New York City. It was in the Navy, that Haley discovered himself as a writer, which eventually led his rise as a star journalist in the heyday of magazine personality profiles. At Playboy Magazine, Haley profiled everyone from Martin Luther King and Miles Davis to Johnny Carson and Malcolm X, leading to their collaboration on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Roots was for Haley a deeper, more personal reach. The subsequent book and miniseries ignited an ongoing craze for family history, and made Haley one of the most famous writers in the country. Roots sold half a million copies in the first two months of publication, and the original television miniseries was viewed by 130 million people.
Haley died in 1992. This deeply researched and compelling book by Robert J. Norrell offers the perfect opportunity to revisit his authorship, his career as one of the first African American star journalists, as well as an especially dramatic time of change in American history.
Alex Haley Biography
Author Alex Haley was best known for works depicting the struggles of African Americans. Raised in Henning, Tennessee, he began writing to help pass the time during his two decades with the U. Coast Guard. It was adapted into a miniseries that became the most-watched broadcast in TV history, a record it would hold for years. For the first five years of his life, Haley lived with his mother and grandparents in Henning, Tennessee , while his father finished his studies.
By April almost two million hardcover copies of the book had been sold and million people had seen all or part of the eight-episode television series. Roots is considered by many critics a classic in African American literature and culture. His father managed the family lumber business while his mother was a schoolteacher. Growing up, Haley became interested in his ancestry while listening to colorful stories told by his family. These stories, which traced seven generations, would become the source and inspiration for Haley's later work.
Toggle navigation. Haley worked as a journalist, interviewing hundreds of people for a variety of magazines, and as a novelist and wrote one screenplay during his long and fruitful career, often approaching topics concerning race, discrimination, slavery, and other social issues. Haley married three times. Interesting Alex Haley Facts: Haley began his writing career while serving in the Coast Guard, first by writing letters for his fellow guards and then later as an official journalist for the service. Haley never saw any action in the Coast Guard and later described his service as mainly boring, but also an opportunity to hone his writing skills. The Autobiography of Malcom X was ghostwritten by Haley. It was his first book with latter additions adding his name.
Alex Haley facts: Alex Haley () is the celebrated author of Roots: The Indeed, Haley's admirers contend, Roots remains a great book because it is.
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Alex Haley - His Search For Roots (1977)
Biographer Robert J. Norrell can help with that. Even Norrell was surprised at what his research turned up! Here, he talks about four things he learned when writing Alex Haley. In writing a biography of Alex Haley, I learned some surprising things about him and his career as a writer. Both of his two main works, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Roots , sold in the neighborhood of six million books. That is mind-boggling success to me.
By April almost two million hardcover copies of the book had been sold and million people had seen all or part of the eight-episode television series. Roots is thus considered by many critics a classic in African-American literature and culture. Haley, who was born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in the small town of Henning, Tennessee, became interested in his ancestry while listening to colorful stories told by his family. One story in particular, about an African ancestor who refused to be called by his slave name "Toby" and declared instead that his name was "Kintay, " impressed Haley deeply. Young Haley was so fascinated by this account that he later spent twelve years researching and documenting the life of "Kunta Kinte, " the character in his famous Roots. School records indicate that Haley was not an exceptional student. At the age of eighteen he joined the U.