Nation: Roots' Roots

Haley settles out of court

Alex Haley's book about his black heritage, Roots, won him a Pulitzer Prize, $2.6 million in hard-cover revenues alone, and his share of a much acclaimed television series. But Harold Courlander, 70, a white novelist living in Bethesda, Md., believed the book had more roots than Haley was willing to acknowledge. In Federal District Court in Manhattan, he accused Haley of plagiarizing passages from his 1967 book, The African. Courlander demanded that Haley turn over to him more than half the profits from Roots*

Judge Robert Ward noted that there were significant similarities...

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