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Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered their Pasts Hardcover – July 6, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“The complex immigrant story of the United States viewed through extensive genetic and genealogical research into the backgrounds of 12 ethnically diverse, famous Americans.... [I]t is the broader sweep of history and the causes and ramifications of human migrations that engage the reader and give the book its impact.”
“In Faces of America, Henry Louis Gates Jr. has found a middle path: He applies the most rigorous genealogical and genetic tools to the family histories of 12 ethnically distinct Americans, and in doing so touches on the history of not only these individuals but on the human race itself...Gates’s breezy, intimate style and obvious affection for his subjects results in a book that is the bionic version of that old fourth-grade family tree assignment, thanks to the support of a world-class Rolodex and Harvard researchers and geneticists. It’s fun.”
-The Boston Globe>
“There are surprises—[Gates] finds a common ancestor between Queen Noor of Jordan and African-American academic Elizabeth Alexander; both are 37th great-granddaughters of Charlemagne—and in getting such subjects as Mike Nichols to open up about their pasts, he finds how powerfully the past informs the present. Gates offers a book stuffed with epiphanies that will spark curiosity among readers about their own ancestry as well as their possible connections to each other.”
“Faces of America adds compelling evidence that the American story of race is a far more complicated affair than the conventional wisdom of the past would have us believe. Science, history, and genealogy come together in this accessible, intelligent, and elegant presentation. This is a must read for all who are interested in reconstructing the story of the American people.”
-Annette Gordon-Reed,2009 Pulitzer Prize winner and 2008 National Book Award winner for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
“Henry Louis Gates, Jr., takes us on a spellbinding journey into the lives of some of America’s favorite celebrities by excavating historical archives and using the latest advances in genealogy and genetics. A rich tapestry of the nation’s people, Gates’s Faces of America uncovers the common thread that holds us together while highlighting the differences that make us unique from each other and from one generation to the next.”
-Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham,Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
It made me want to research my own family. Now that 23 and me has lower their prices, I'm thinking about giving that to my husband for Christmas. Read morePublished on October 8, 2013 by Susan Lambert
I am a genealogy junkie. I loved this book. I enjoyed the author's style of writing and I love that he was passionate about the same things that I am interested. Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Laura
This book is fascinating. If you like history, this book is extremely informative of its journey into family history of each individual, a reminder of our own family history and... Read morePublished on July 30, 2011 by John R. Washington