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Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World Paperback – July 29, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A vivid synthesis of DNA studies with archaeological, climatic, anthropological and other findings ... The thrill of this book lies in the vast reaches of time and space that one is deftly guided through. Emma Crichton-Miller, Sunday Telegraph I can put my finger on a map and say that is where my people came from. The Economist Oppenheimer strongly argues for a single movement out of Africa. He tells his story with pace and authority, combining the personal and the scientific. Times Literary Supplement A wonderfully readable guide for the perplexed on what modern molecular genetics may be telling us about our species' ancient origins in Africa and our many human wanderings over the earth thereafter John Terrell, Director of Anthropology, The Field Museum, Chicago

About the Author

Stephen Oppenheimer of the University of Oxford is a leading expert in the use of DNA to track migrations. His first book Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia challenged the orthodox view of the origins of Polynesians as rice farmers from Taiwan. He is also the author of The Origins of the British.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (July 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841198943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841198941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazon doesn't carry this book, and it is only available through third parties. Don't be fooled (as I was) into thinking that this means that this book is out of print!

In the US, this book is available directly from Amazon as "The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa." Judging from the TOC, the books are the same, but the American edition is cheaper and will probably arrive faster.
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Format: Paperback
Oppenheimer's work is a masterpiece of breathtaking scope. He handles the many aspects of the migration of human genes in a masterful, entertaining, exciting and, above all, immensely informative way. He takes a huge puzzle and puts together the pieces in a coherent and convincing manner. He paints a very compelling picture of the timing and the routing of the movement of humans to populate every corner of the world and presents hypotheses for phenotypic differences between peoples. Anthropologists may quibble with some minor details, as did I, but these do not detract from what I have to call the majesty of the subject matter. His book successfully links genetic data with archeological evidence and, above all, with climatological data to plot the routes taken by our ancestors. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book about how we came to populate the world. In fact I would argue that it is essential reading if you are interested in the subject. Robert Oppenheimer has used all available information on the subject up to 2003 when the book was published to summarize where science stands in this very complicated and also fascinating issue. We used to have archeology, geology, biology, linguistics, history etc but with the introduction of genetics this has become the main tool to unriddle this puzzle. Robert Openheimer's main focus is genetics and by using this as his base and adding all the other sciences he manages to show what was the most plausible explanation of how we came to populate the earth.

You would think that science is all based on hard facts but this book also shows how a lot of academic "in-fighting" takes place concerning how to interpret it all. Robert Oppenheimer put some effort into proving why he is right and a number of other are wrong. His arguments are strong but maybe a little less of arguing against others and for his views would have been better.

The Book was copyrighted in 2003. In just ten years a lot has happened in this field and it shows. Robert Oppenheimer states that there are no evidence that we have interbreed with the Neanderthals but now we know through the research of Svante Pääbo at the Max Plank institute that we have. Mr Pääbo has also found the Denisov human in Siberia that was unknown in 2003. Also Robert Oppenheimer mentions work ongoing in Flores but of course he could not have known about Homo floresiensis discovered in 2004.

None of this makes the book less readable but you wish that it was updated or a new book on the same subject would be published.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd better say straight away that I am convinced the "Out-of-Africa" concept for peopling the world has validity. Therefore, I found this account, written for the layman, of which I am one, to be easily read, plausible & properly resourced. I can recommend this book to curious first-time readers about The Journey of Man. Seamlessly cobbles together genetics,paleontology and paleoanthropology to make a well-reasoned argument.
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By tcat on November 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I write this review "Out of Eden" is going on 10 years old. With the accelerating speed of knowledge growth today that makes it almost ancient but I knew that when I bought the book. I was looking for something that went through the thought process and how Oppenheimer wove together all of the bits and pieces of information from different disciplines. I was not disappointed. It was very easy to read and he did an excellent job of making some very complex concepts understandable. Oppenheimer is also very upfront about this being a work in progress and that what he uncovers is merely the thinking at the time. My favorite piece in the book is in the first part of Chapter 7: The Peopling of the Americas, where he talks about the discord in the scientific community that keeps new approaches to looking at data from getting an objective look and keeping the understanding of the field from moving forward. Having been in the biological sciences for my whole career, I can relate to the turf battles he describes and the positions different research groups have taken and feel they need to defend. I look forward to future reading on the topic but I feel as though "Out of Eden" did a great job of bringing me up-to-speed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My advice is don't read this on an e-reader - it's too awkward to read footnotes or study diagrams. Underline key passages that speak to the thesis. Read the epilogue first. I learned a lot from this book, but I missed more than I learned, being overwhelmed by the supporting details.
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Format: Paperback
The book provides a lot of sources of information on the topic.

But I don't very trust the story the book tells. The author first discredit himself by the argument he used to rebuff the idea that Mongoloid people were evolved through severe cold adaptation. He said though the evidences are compelling but he don't believe it because, his Asian wife is less cold-tolerating than him...

Be cautious to the remarks in the book. Sometimes the detailed information tells the story that "A>B", but the author's introductory or concluding remark, by some misleading wording, hints that "B>A". For example his wording might impress readers that the dominating Y-chromosome of native American are from a Caucasian-related population, while the scientific material he referred to says another story.

The "theory" that the second migration to American after the LGM was originated from Beringia is also a shaky story...
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