Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

A groundbreaking book about how technological advances in genomics and the extraction of ancient DNA have profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies. Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear--in part from David Reich's own A groundbreaking book about how technological advances in genomics and the extraction of ancient DNA have profoundly c...

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Title:Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
Author:David Reich
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:335 pages pages

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past Reviews

  • Gail
    Jun 18, 2018
    This. Was. Excruciating. I finished this by relying on sheer stubbornness. The topic was of interest and I hoped (unreasonably, it seems) that it would improve as I read. It did not. I fell asleep repeatedly trying to read it. I was thrilled to finish. Why? This is a textbook-like ...
  • Clif Hostetler
    Aug 24, 2018
    This book offers readers a description about the human past that has been made possible by recent technological advances in genome research. By comparing whole genomes' worth of DNA from ancient humans of various degrees of antiquity together with the data analysis power of modern comp...
  • Mehrsa
    Jul 01, 2018
    Such fascinating science and research on ancient DNA. I also really loved all the research about the Iranian Nomad populations that are basically the tribe that took over Europe because those are my people (kind of because there was a lot of mixing). It was also stunning to see how ine...
  • John
    May 22, 2018
    4.5 in substance, 3 in actual writing clarity. This books gives an overview of the new methods of using ?ancient DNA? to learn about human history. There are really 3 parts to it - (1) an overview of the new methods (which are very new); (2) a revised history of the ancestry of...
  • Sue
    Aug 19, 2018
    The excitement in reading Who We Are and How We Got Here is in witnessing the birth of a new science. David Reich warns the reader in the introduction that studies of ancient DNA are providing new information at such a rapid pace that some of the book?s fascinating findings might alr...
  • Pequete
    Jan 02, 2019
    I could have finished this book in 2018, but as I was approaching the end, I started to read it in smaller chunks, to make it last? What a great read! This book is basically a summary of the state of the art in terms of genetic research using ancient DNA (i.e. DNA from skeletal re...
  • Lauren
    Jan 29, 2019
    || Who We Are And How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich || Reich does an admirable job laying out the field of genomics and its implications on our understanding of human origins, migration patterns, and related fields of linguistics, and ...
  • Bensmomma
    Sep 15, 2018
    Fascinating and thought provoking, but very difficult reading, made more so by the author?s tendency to write paragraph-long sentences. A little editing would have made it even more impactful. ...
  • Emily
    Feb 03, 2019
    I accidentally delivered the e-galley of this book to the wrong device and forgot about it for a year--too bad, because it was fascinating. It certainly deserves my "five stars for having gotten me to look at something familiar in a new way." Previously I had a vague sense that huma...
  • Xenophon Hendrix
    Apr 05, 2018
    The author, David Reich, is a eminent population geneticist whose work is shedding light on questions of archeology and history. This book is primarily about the origins and movements of the ancestors of persons today. When it sticks to that topic, the book is excellent, except for the...
  • Riju Ganguly
    Apr 16, 2019
    This book may well go down as one of the classics of our times. Unfortunately, for me the book was considerably disappointing, despite the wealth of information and concepts that it describes. Reason behind that feeling had been summed up by the author himself at the end of the book: t...
  • Steve Van Slyke
    Apr 21, 2018
    Having read earlier books on this topic by Svante Paabo, Spencer Wells and others I was anxious to read something current. I wasn't disappointed. This, as others have said, is an excellent summary of the state of genetic research using ancient DNA to determine how we all got to where w...
  • Aaron Arnold
    Aug 27, 2018
    This is absolutely the book to read if you're interested in genetic history, either your own or humanity's. Reich zooms out tens and hundreds of thousands of years ago, far past most Big History books, discussing how the latest research on recent discoveries of ancient DNA has begun to...
  • K
    Oct 11, 2018
    Bad biology, worse social science. See my professional review here: https://www.academia.edu/37523670/Rev... ...
  • Lemar
    Jan 04, 2019
    David Reich comes off as a sincere guy who loves his work: a puzzle master of human ancestry who is among the first with previously missing pieces. The book explains the methods and the subtle art of obtaining and analyzing ancient DNA using the whole genome. This sequencing illuminate...
  • Katia N
    Jan 22, 2019
    ?The speed at which the ancient DNA revolution is moving is exhilarating. The technology is evolving so quickly that many papers being published right now use methods that will be obsolete within a few years.? Without having any special knowledge of genomics, anthropology or ar...
  • Jayesh
    Apr 14, 2018
    This was a fantastic condensation of modern research on genomics and it's effect on our understanding of anthropology and history. Really, what is it with biologists that they are able to write these books understandable to a relatively lay audience without hiding entire detail about h...
  • Lois Bujold
    Sep 16, 2018
    This was the book that I wanted the last book I read on the topic to be. Concentrates on the science, lucidly written, although probably best not read when one is too fatigued or sleepy. Its explanations seem as simple as possible but no simpler, which I appreciate. This is a round-u...
  • Alison
    May 28, 2018
    We geneticists may be the barbarians coming late to the study of the human past, but it is always a bad idea to ignore barbarians. We have access to a type of data that no one has had before, and we are wielding these data to address previously unapproachable questions about who ancien...
  • Max
    Feb 22, 2019
    Reich, a Harvard genetics professor, is a leading scientist investigating ancient DNA. He brings us up to date on the significant progress that has been made in the extraction and analysis of DNA from ancient bones. These recent studies change what we know about the movements of prehis...
  • Peter Tillman
    Jul 22, 2018
    Go-to review is Biafra Ahananou's, http://bahanonu.com/syscarut/articles... "This book, even with its flaws, is worth reading for the great overview it gives into the emerging ancient DNA field that could have profound impacts on culture, politics, and science." ...
  • Charles
    Apr 11, 2019
    We have all heard of the fad for DNA ancestry testing. Being a paranoid, I haven?t joined the crowd, because all testing companies are happy to hand over the results to the police, and what if I need to keep quiet some heinous crime I commit where I leave my DNA behind? Not to mentio...
  • Chrisl
    Aug 28, 2018
    A perception changing book ... but it contained too much information for my attention capacity. Less than 300 pages of text, but seemed longer. Did a lot of skimming. If I had purchased it, rather than borrowing, it would be read it segments with underlining and marginal comments, and ...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Apr 21, 2018
    Traces the general history of humanity from its origins in Africa and the subsequent lineages that went to Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Australasia, The Americas and subsequent African lineages as they changed in the genetic record up to the present. Also covers the detective story b...
  • Caroline
    Jul 27, 2019
    At first I found it interesting to think about what we can learn from ancient DNA samples and how. But it turned out a lot of what we can learn is stuff I just don?t care about. It?s really hard for me to pay attention to a discussion of how some ancient group of people who no long...
  • Rossdavidh
    Nov 25, 2018
    Not so long ago, Mayan script could not be read. It was not really until the 1970's that enough was understood to learn many of the most significant facts about the Mayan history, pre-European contact. Prior to that time, there were prominent researchers who thought that the ancient Ma...
  • Willy C
    Mar 31, 2018
    Willy Chertman 03/29/2018 "Who We Are and How We Got Here" is great book with some flaws. As a one-stop guide for catching up with the ancient DNA revolution, it is unequaled. It is also a refreshingly honest look into the life of a practicing prominent scientist in the age of la...
  • Biafra
    Mar 30, 2018
    Due to Goodreads limits, this review is cropped. The full review can be found at http://bahanonu.com/syscarut/articles/204/. ======= This review will likely be updated as I mull over or re-read the book. [?] when we discover biological differences governing behavior, they may n...
  • Gavin
    Jun 17, 2018
    Incredibly detailed and fresh, but also repetitive and indiscriminate. Had to think quite hard looking at some of the many diagrams showing e.g. hundreds of thousands of years of almost-noise recombination. Archeology has been transformed in the last decade, by the ancient DNA hunt....
  • Roberta Allen
    Nov 27, 2018
    This was an interesting but ultimately disappointing book for a number of reasons. First, so much of the data and hypotheses rest on statistical measurements. The author does not take the time to fully explain these, which is crucial to his exposition as much depends on the assumed fre...