Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
A Brief History Of Everyone Ever Lived Paperback – January 1, 2017
Enhance your purchase
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But the debunking part is the best part of this book. The author shows how modern genetics has been used and abused by businessmen and charlatans of many sorts. Rutherford denounces the lies of the growing industry devoted to DNA ancestry, the false promises of gene therapy and genomics (“the number of diseases that have been eradicated as a result of our knowing the genome? Zero”), and the moral confusion and opportunism underlying the use of genetic analysis to excuse criminal behaviors. “Most human traits, behaviors and diseases are complex, with dozens or hundreds of genes playing a small part in concert with the inscrutable milieu in which they operate”. In short, it's complicated.
Adam Rutherford is not the heir of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould or Daniel Dennet. He is not a disciplined writer. He can be repetitive and sloppy. Also, he spends too many words and iterations in trivial and secondary discussions: genes for ginger head and wet ear wax are cases in point. But he knows his topic and has written an informative and honest book.
Top reviews from other countries
I expected this book to be accessible to the average reader and teach me more, but had not expected it to also be an entertaining and often hilariously funny read as well. Adam Rutherford has managed to write a book that not only informs, amuses and fascinates but is also brilliantly explained. The lay-person can grasp the scientific stuff without being given a headache and the stories that illustrate how genetics can tell us so much about the past, present and possible future are enthralling.
More seriously, it exposes how genetics was and is distorted by frauds, bigots and the illogical to substantiate some dubious claims.
It is astonishingly broad in range. Moving from the micro-level of what the human genome is and how it is studied to the macro-level of how genes can be used to track early human migration, what inbreeding is likely to do and some of the more famous (and infamous) cases citing DNA proof.
I was delighted to find that I could claim Viking ancestry (as can nearly everybody else unfortunately), fascinated by the results of the People of the British Isles project and found the whole book unputdownable. Adam Rutherford really deserves some kind of prize.
Even if you usually recoil from popular science books do read this one. I defy anybody not to be stimulated, amused and painlessly educated by what I believe to be a extraordinary book.