One of the most important books and television series ever to appear, “Roots,” galvanized the nation, and created an extraordinary political, racial, social and cultural dialogue that hadn’t been seen since the publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Over the years, both “Roots” and Alex Haley have attracted controversy, which comes with the territory for trailblazing, iconic books, particularly on the topic of race. Some of the criticism results from whether “Roots” is fact or fiction and whether Alex Haley confused these two issues, a subject he addresses directly in the book. There is also the fact that Haley was sued for plagiarism when it was discovered that several dozen paragraphs in Roots were taken directly from a novel, “The African,” by Harold Courlander, who ultimately received a substantial financial settlement at the end of the case. But none of the controversy affects the basic issue. “Roots” fostered a remarkable dialogue about not just the past, but the then present day 1970s and how America had fared since the days portrayed in “Roots.” This title is also available as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby, as an eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, or as an eAudiobook on Hoopla.