ISBN: 9781615194049
Publishing: October 3, 2017
Price: $25.95 US
Hardcover: 416 pages
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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

Like bestsellers The Gene and Sapiens, a groundbreaking narrative about our identity; like nothing else, a retelling of all of human history through genetics

In our unique genomes, each one of us carries the history of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now.

With the advent of genomics, scientists can at last decode our DNA, and the implications for our identity are enormous. As acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford shows, before genomics, we never really knew much about ourselves at all. And so he rewrites all of human history—from 100,000 years ago to the present.

Touching on topics as wide-ranging as Neanderthals and murder, redheads and race, dead kings and plague, evolution and epigenetics, plus the remarkable (and controversial) story of how our genes made their way to the Americas, Rutherford uses science to shatter deeply held beliefs about our heritage—replacing them with new answers to the biggest question of all: Who we are.

“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

“In light of advances in genomics, science writer Rutherford rewrites all of human history, using genetics to shatter deeply held beliefs about human heritage and replace them with new answers to some of life’s biggest questions.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for the UK Edition:

“Well-written, stimulating, and entertaining.”
—Richard Dawkins

“Brilliant, authoritative, surprising, captivating.”
—Brian Cox

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.