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

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This book is a thorough overview of the latest research into our collective ancestries and what it means for us today. Though one might think that DNA research and cutting-edge technology are the author’s primary focus, they are only one piece of the whole picture. I found myself fascinated by how patterns in the slave trade correlate to trust issues within and between communities; by how versions of a fairy tale pinpoint groups’ origins more accurately than DNA; and, finally, by how exactly researchers use DNA to track traits from the distant past.

Kenneally addresses race and racism and how cultures perpetuate bias based on what can be seen in others’ faces, and she examines the field of genome mapping as it relates not just to people’s health histories but to mapping their family trees. Ethical issues abound, and as the technology rapidly evolves, the implications for health and life insurance, for privacy, for culture, will increase exponentially. “The genome is a treasure house; it’s the Library of Congress many times over,” after all, and accessing its secrets may present vast riches as well as many problems to be managed. This book is a treasure trove of information as well and a terrific primer for those interested in where we all come from and where that information will lead us.


Reviewed By:

Author Christine Kenneally
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Viking Adult
Publish Date 2014-Oct-09
ISBN 9780670025558
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2015
Category Science & Nature
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