The New York Times recently reviewed Alex Haley and the Books that Changed a Nation, a new biography written by Robert “Jeff” Norrell, UT professor of history. The book chronicles Haley’s literary influence–he was author of Roots and the Autobiography of Malcolm X, two of the most widely read works of African-American history in the twentieth century.
“Each sold more than six million copies. Each had a profound impact on black identity in America. Each was billed as nonfiction but, crucially, only the Malcolm X book should have been so designated. Therein lies the painful story of a literary reputation made and lost, one that is told simply and well in Robert J. Norrell’s Alex Haley: And the Books That Changed a Nation,” the review states. Continue reading online.