Mapping Human History

Mapping Human History

Discovering the Past Through Our Genes

Book - 2002
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Houghton
In this sweeping narrative of the past 150,000 years of human history, Steve Olson draws on new understandings in genetics to reveal how the people of the world came to be.
Traveling across four continents, Olson describes the African origins of modern humans and the migration of our ancestors throughout the world. He offers a genealogy of all of humanity, explaining, for instance, why everyone can claim Julius Caesar and Confucius as their forebears and how the history of the Jewish people jibes with, and diverges from, biblical accounts. He shows how groups of people differ and yet are the same, exploding the myth that human races are a biological reality while demonstrating how the accidents of history have resulted in the rich diversity of people today.
Celebrating both our commonality and our variety, MAPPING HUMAN HISTORY is a masterful synthesis of the human past and present that will forever change how we think about ourselves and our relations with others.


Baker & Taylor
A history of human existence as culled from the latest genetics research seeks to unveil some of the mysteries surrounding human origin, migration, and language development and discusses human differences and what those variations mean in today's world. 17,500 first printing.

Book News
Combining insights from recent discoveries involving the analysis of mitochondrial DNA and more traditional archaeological theories, this work explores the origins of different human "races" and reflects on the meanings of DNA towards notions of ethnic identity. Noting that people who think of themselves as European can have mitochondrial DNA from halfway across the world and that often people who consider themselves the same ethnic group can have widely differing DNA, the author cautions against the overdetermination of ethnicity using DNA techniques. Along the way he discussed some of the complexities of the issue in figuring out the origins of peoples in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

A history of human existence seeks to unveil some of the mysteries surrounding human origin, migration, and language development and discusses human differences and what those variations mean in today's world.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2002
ISBN: 9780618091577
0618091572
Branch Call Number: 599.9 OLS
Characteristics: viii, 292 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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heather333
Apr 23, 2010

I found The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes a much more interesting and compelling read than this. Mr. Olson's central thesis appears to be that we are all connected and genetic research is showing that to be more and more true. I feel he spent far to much time condemning racism and bigotry and far to little time on the actual mapping of human history. For me, it was a case of preaching to the choir that I found unnecessary and distracting.

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