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 contributions to the field--that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. Now, in The New Science of the Human Past, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He delineates how the Genomic Revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of our own lineage as modern humans; how genomics deconstructs the idea that there are no biologically meaningful differences among human populations (though without adherence to pernicious racist hierarchies); and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of human inequality--among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population.

Title:Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
ISBN:9781101870327
Format Type:

About David Reich


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

  • Alison

    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 a...

  • Jayesh

    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 ...

  • Biafra

    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...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    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 t...

  • Willy C

    Willy Chertman03/29/2018"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 ...

  • Mehrsa

    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 p...

  • Peter Tillman

    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 co...

  • Xenophon Hendrix

    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...

  • Gavin Leech

    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 recombin...

  • John

    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...