Thursday, September 22, 2005

Roots – a major, big-time hoax?

One of my very favorite websites is Snopes. This is a site dedicated to debunking hoaxes, especially of the Internet variety. I enjoy and support this site because I, too, hate fraud and misrepresentation. For the same reason, I enjoy reading the columns and other writings of Jack Cashill. I don’t always agree with him, but he does a fine job in exposing “common knowledge” for the fraud it often is.

His latest book is entitled Hoodwinked – How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture. In this book, he argues that a number of common American beliefs are based on lies. One of his most interesting claims is that Roots, the best-selling novel by Alex Haley, is fraudulent and, in addition, plagiarizes a work by another author.

In my college composition class, our major assignment for the semester is to write a 10-12 page research paper having something to do with Africa. I suggested to my teacher that I do my research project on the truth (or not) of Roots and she agreed. So I have 8 weeks to do my own research into this topic. I’m looking forward to this. Roots is PC (Politically Correct) if nothing else. If I determine, in my own mind, that Roots truly is a fraud, it will be very interesting to see how my teacher and fellow students respond.

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