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A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History Second Printing Edition
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“It is hard to convey how rich this book is….The book is a delight to read—conversational and lucid. And it will trigger an intellectual explosion the likes of which we haven't seen for a few decades….At the heart of the book, stated quietly but with command of the technical literature, is a bombshell….So one way or another, A Troublesome Inheritance will be historic. Its proper reception would mean enduring fame.”
Publishers Weekly: “Wade ventures into territory eschewed by most writers: the evolutionary basis for racial differences across human populations. He argues persuasively that such differences exist… His conclusion is both straightforward and provocative…He makes the case that human evolution is ongoing and that genes can influence, but do not fully control, a variety of behaviors that underpin differing forms of social institutions. Wade’s work is certain to generate a great deal of attention.”
Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University:
“Nicholas Wade combines the virtues of truth without fear and the celebration of genetic diversity as a strength of humanity, thereby creating a forum appropriate to the twenty-first century.”
About the Author
More About the Author
Nicholas Wade is the author of three books about recent human evolution. They are addressed to the general reader interested in knowing what the evolutionary past tells us about human nature and society today.
One, Before the Dawn, published in 2006, traces how people have evolved during the last 50,000 years.
The second book, The Faith Instinct (2009), argues that because of the survival advantage of religion, an instinct for religious behavior was favored by natural selection among early human societies and became universal in all their descendants.
A Troublesome Inheritance (2014), the third of the trilogy, looks at how human races evolved.
Wade was born in Aylesbury, England, and educated at Eton and at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences. He became a journalist writing about scientific issues, and has worked at Nature and Science, two weekly scientific magazines, and on the New York Times.
Top Customer Reviews
President Obama and Bill Nye have also stated publicly and in print (Nye) that race is not real. These statements are misleading and serve no more than a political purpose. Millions of people from around the world have had have their genomes sequenced by such giants as 23andMe. The information that is being compiled and analyzed is releasing a startling amount of genetic information concerning human evolution. Did you know that Tibetans evolved a genetic variant in their genes that allow them to live at high altitudes? Since 1980, every finalist in the Olympic 100 meter dash has had West African ancestry... want to learn more? This book is must read for everyone who has an interest in the science of evolution. I give the author credit for bringing forth this book and I hope more similar books follow. Genetics will be the driving force of the 21st Century.
That is basically the gist of the book. It's worth noting at the outset that at no point does Wade downplay the effects of culture and environment in dictating social, cognitive or behavioral differences - in fact he mentions culture as an important factor at least ten times by my count - but all he is saying is that, based on a variety of scientific studies enabled by the explosive recent growth of genomics and sequencing, we need to now recognize a strong genetic component to these differences.
The book can be roughly divided into three parts. The first part details the many horrific and unseemly uses that the concept of race has been put to by loathsome racists and elitists ranging from Social Darwinists to National Socialists. Wade reminds us that while these perpetrators had a fundamentally misguided, crackpot definition of race, that does not mean race does not exist in a modern incarnation.Read more ›
Together these books represent a major turning point in the public debate about the speed with which relatively isolated groups can evolve: both books suggest that small genetic differences between members of different groups can have large impacts on their abilities and propensities, which in turn affect the outcomes of the societies in which they live. Ever since the 1950s, Wade argues, many academics have denied the biological reality of race, and some have suggested that merely believing in racial differences constitutes a kind of racism (p. 69). But the rejection of race as a useful concept is often more of a political pose than a serious scientific claim, and it became especially popular among academics after the Second World War, during which Nazi pseudo-scientists used claims of racial superiority to justify mass murder.
As it turns out, Ashkenazi Jews - those from Russia, Poland, and Germany, who were nearly exterminated in the Holocaust - have been consistently found by intelligence researchers to have the highest IQ in the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The negative reviews of this book actually encouraged me to buy and to read through it. Afterwards I perused the reviews here on Amazon, and my conclusion is that the controversy... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Broward County Boy
Genetic differentiation between races may impact the relative successes and failures of different societies. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Michael Moisio
Evolution, race and history
Perversions of science
Origins of human social nature
The human experiment
The genetics of race
Societies and... Read more
This book is a must read for all that is afraid to acknowledge the existence of race. This manuscript is a warning to all that political ideologies can influence scientific... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jal
I liked the book, although the second half is more speculative. Particularly noteworthy is his argument that evolution did not halt thousands of years ago and that mutations,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by pizzalizard
A very enlightening treatise on recent human evolution and the races. It made me more aware that evolution not only created the races and variations on the human theme, evolution... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roy F. Johnson
This book started with much potential but didn't amount to much at the end. I don't disagree with author's point of view but he offered nothing substantial to back his arguments. Read morePublished 2 months ago by yen yo
Couldn't pass over half of the book. It started well, then became boring.Published 3 months ago by Mr. Merrimack
I have read dozens of books on human evolution and this is one of the top 3. Although fine for a reader naive to the issues it is equally up to informing arm chair Datwins w... Read morePublished 3 months ago by STEVEN KUSSIN