A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived – Adam Rutherford
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived – The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes.
An Amazon Best Book of October 2017: Our obsession with where we come from has recently leapfrogged past the genealogy efforts of retired relatives to mail-in DNA tests that can provide the broad strokes of our genetic makeup for less than $100. But, as Rutherford points out in his intriguing exploration of humankind, DNA tests offer only a sensationalized peek at our roots, and the tangled, still-evolving truth is far more fascinating. Armed with his disarming British wit, Rutherford delves into the migration, interbreeding and isolation, and extinction of hominid branches that has shaped the modern human. Holes in our fossil record and the lack of DNA in fossils we’ve actually found still make genome research a challenge, yet the more we learn, the more we have to change our perception of who Homo sapiens are and what we’re made of. Challenging the simplistic thinking bolstered by the media, Rutherford adds both nuance and the thrill of excitement to viewing our species through a wider, stronger lens that can now see deep into our past. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. (For example, we now know that at least four human species once roamed the earth.) Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas—one that’s still being written, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced.
“An effervescent work, brimming with tales and confounding ideas carried in the ‘epic poem in our cells.’ ”—Guardian
“Rutherford raises significant questions and explains complex topics well, engaging readers with humor and smooth prose.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A sweeping new view of the human evolution story, using the latest science of DNA as the central guide . . . . Recommended.”—Scientific American
“Adam Rutherford’s ‘A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived’ is the book we need.”
“Challenging the simplistic thinking bolstered by the media, Rutherford adds both nuance and the thrill of excitement to viewing our species through a wider, stronger lens that can now see deep into our past.”—Amazon Book Review, Top 10 Editor’s Pick of October 2017
“[Rutherford’s] head-on, humane approach to such charged and misunderstood topics as intelligence and race make this an indispensable contribution to the popular science genre.”—Apple’s iBooks Best Book of September 2017
“An enthusiastic history of mankind in which DNA plays a far greater role than the traditional ‘bones and stones’ approach, followed by a hopeful if cautionary account of what the recent revolution in genomics foretells . . . Often quirky but thoughtful—solid popular science.”—Kirkus
“By turns amusing and provocative, this book, which may bruise the egos of a few genealogists, will appeal to both popular and technical science readers.”—Library Journal
“Ambitious, wide-ranging, and deeply researched, Rutherford’s book sets out to describe the history of the human species—from our origins as a slight, sly, naked, apelike creature somewhere in Africa to our gradual spread across the globe and our dominion over the planet.”
—from the foreword by Siddhartha Mukherjee
“You couldn’t ask for a better guide to the complex, often bewildering world of genetics than Adam Rutherford, who guides the reader with a deft hand through an ambitious tour of human history—seen through the lens of cutting-edge genomics research. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is equal parts informative, engaging, and frequently surprising—a must-read for fans of big-picture popular science.”
—Jennifer Ouellette, author of Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self
“Rutherford manages to reveal fresh (and controversial) assessments of human history and dispel long-held beliefs with clarity, enthusiasm and humor.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers
Praise for the UK edition:
“Adam Rutherford’s book is well-written, stimulating, and entertaining. What’s more important, he consistently gets it right.”
“Genetics is opening up the past as never before—Adam Rutherford puts the genes in genealogy brilliantly.”
“Magisterial, informative, and delightful.”
“A revelatory and important exploration into the ties that bind us—all seven billion of us—together. I really was enthralled.”
—Sunjeev Sahota, author of The Year of the Runaways
Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. He has written and presented many award-winning series and programs for the BBC, including the flagship weekly Radio 4 program Inside Science, The Cell for BBC Four, and Playing God (on the rise of synthetic biology) for the leading science series Horizon, as well as writing for the science pages of the Guardian. His first book, Creation, on the origin of life and synthetic biology, was published in 2013 to outstanding reviews and was short-listed for the Wellcome Trust Prize.
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