History Professor Jeff Norrell recently published a new biography exploring the rise of author Alex Haley to national celebrity and his great literary influence. In Alex Haley and the Books That Changed a Nation, Norrell argues that Haley’s books were the most influential and widely read works of African-American history in the 20th century. Together they changed the way Americans, black and white, understood the black experience.
The Associated Press picked up the story, which in turn has been featured in numerous national news outlets including the Lexington Herald-Leader, Houston Chronicle, Bellingham Herald, Washington Times, East Oregonian, Merced Sun-Star, Greenfield, Indiana-based Daily Reporter, and Chattanooga-based WDEF-TV News 12.
Norrell is the Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence in the Department of History.