A lot has been written in books about history of slave trade but I think this is one book which really captures the reality of that time and how it affected not only individuals but the generations thereafter. The journey that Alex Haley makes to earlier generation across continents searching for his roots is the theme of this book. In this journey he is able to capture the life of people in Africa, America and how the struggle for abolition of slavery shaped the history of America.
It is also the story of very simple people who valued their independence but when forced into slavery made the best out of it. They learned the language, tools, culture, religion from their masters and eventually were able to fight back to get back their freedom. The race that came to America as slaves has eventually become the leader of the same country.
Today for our generation it is probably too difficult to imagine what was the life at that time. Large number of people being captured and transported as though they were machines. Well, not even machines. When people transport machines they take good care of it. But in this case even that much of care was not shown. The worst of the fact is that this was not done by some tribal or barbarian civilization. This was done by so-called advanced European traders who were essentially very law-abiding and religious people. The lure of money can convert any good heart into a really bad criminal.
Another interesting aspect that comes out in the book is that children of masters got the same education from their parents and even though they did not understand the difference between master and slave in early years, they learnt it fast and became as barbaric as their parents.
I watched the movie adaptation of this book sometime back and fortunately in this case, movie was made well.