The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

Christine Kenneally

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0143127926

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

• A New York Times Notable Book

“The richest, freshest, most fun book on genetics in some time.” —The New York Times Book Review

We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the history of nations is written in our DNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it.

The Invisible History of the Human Race is a deeply researched, carefully crafted and provocative perspective on how our stories, psychology, and genetics affect our
past and our future.

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Robert, 49–51, 53, 107, 261 Banks-Young, Shay, 232 Bantu, 255 Bateson, William, 53 Beagle (HMS), 101, 183 beliefs, 157, 177 about gender differences, 152–53 see also ideas and feelings Bell, Alexander William, 62 Benga, Ota, 57–58 Benin, 143–46 Beringia, 249 beta thalassemia, 301 Bettinger, Blaine, 210–11 Bible, 36, 50, 121 Bible, Jean Patterson, 268 Bieble, surname, 199–200 Bieble Y, 199–200 bin Laden, Osama, 183 birth certificates, 87, 88–89 birthers, 40

Australia for more than four decades. Now a slim and fit septuagenarian, he spent most of his adult life working with books, apart from eleven years when he tended his own olive grove. He has visited Germany a few times, and it was on one of his trips that his mother gave him the Einheitsfamilienstammbuch. He told me the pendulum had finally swung back—all children in Germany are now educated about what happened during the war. Mauch’s brother, a professor who stayed, told Mauch there was even a

Temple. When we met, Verkler was the CEO of Family Search, the Mormon organization that manages the vault’s records and promotes genealogy throughout the world. Once a gifted twelve-year-old who wrote software for the bank where his father worked, Verkler became a Silicon Valley entrepreneur until the church’s elders summoned him back to Salt Lake City. Verkler is of an imposing height, and he has a thick helmet of blond hair (which, at a recent genetic genealogy conference hosted by the LDS, had

although scientists now argue that he was effectively a one-man genomic event, for centuries he was known as “the Destroyer.” Khan and his hordes killed about forty million people—the same number as the entire population of present-day Argentina. In fact the Mongol Empire removed such a large number of people from Asia that it had an unprecedented impact on the planet. Because so many millions of people disappeared, there was an enormous amount of reforestation. The fact that there were more

last few hundred years or longer and find their individual place within it. Companies alert customers when another customer has one or more largeish segments of DNA that look exactly the same. Geneticists say these shared segments have “identity by descent,” meaning they are the same because we got them from the same person. The implication is that the segment has been inherited by both customers from a common ancestor. Accordingly, the company will describe the DNA matches as a “relative” or a

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