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

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Monographs on 2018-03-19 03:07Z by Steven

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

368 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781101870327
Ebook ISBN: 9781101870334

David Reich, Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
also, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

David Reich describes how the revolution in the ability to sequence ancient DNA has changed our understanding of the deep human past. This book tells the emerging story of our often surprising ancestry – the extraordinary ancient migrations and mixtures of populations that have made us who we are.

  • A gripping account, from the head of a world-leading lab, of the picture of human history and ancestry emerging from the revolution in the study of ancient DNA.
  • Describes the evidence for ancient migrations and ghosts of long-lost populations, now revealed through comparing the genomes of ancient modern humans, archaic humans, and present-day populations.
  • Considers what the latest research tells us about the often surprising ancestry of the people who now inhabit Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
  • Shows how there are no ‘pure’ races: all modern human populations are mixtures of more ancient ones.
  • Shares new insights into how human populations spread across the world, and makes a compelling argument that ancient DNA is fundamentally changing our picture of who we are.

Here is a groundbreaking book about how the extraction of ancient DNA from ancient bones has 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. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, 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 explains how the genomic revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of the lineage of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of inequality—among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population. His book gives the lie to the orthodoxy that there are no meaningful biological differenced among human populations, and at the same time uses the definitive evidence provided by genomics to show that the differences that do exist are unlikely to conform to familiar stereotypes.

Table Of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I The Deep History of Our Species
    • 1 How the Genome Explains Who We Are
    • 2 Encounters with Neanderthals
    • 3 Ancient DNA Opens the Floodgates
  • Part II How We Got to Where We Are Today
    • 4 Humanity’s Ghosts
    • 5 The Making of Modern Europe
    • 6 The Collision That Formed India
    • 7 In Search of Native American Ancestors
    • 8 The Genomic Origins of East Asians
    • 9 Rejoining Africa to the Human Story
  • Part III The Disruptive Genome
    • 10 The Genomics of Inequality
    • 11 The Genomics of Race and Identity
    • 12 The Future of Ancient DNA
  • Notes on the Illustrations
  • Notes
  • Index
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Negroland: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-09-09 15:29Z by Steven

Negroland: A Memoir

256 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0307378453
eBook ISBN:

Margo Jefferson

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac—here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both.

Born in upper-crust black Chicago—her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite—Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”

Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America—Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance.

(With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.)

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Half + Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2010-02-12 05:23Z by Steven

Half + Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural

Pantheon an imprint of Random House
288 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375-70011-8 (0-375-70011-0)

Edited by Claudine C. O’Hearn

As we approach the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common.  Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one’s identity or origin.  Simple questions like What are you? and Where are you from? aren’t answered—they are discussed.  These eighteen essays, joined by a shared sense of duality, address the difficulties of not fitting into and the benefits of being part of two worlds.  Through the lens of personal experience, they offer a broader spectrum of meaning for race and culture.  And in the process, they map a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction by Claudine Chiawei O’Hearn
  • LOST IN PLACE by Garrett Hongo
  • THE DOUBLE HELIX by Roxane Farmanfarmaian
  • CALIFORNIA PALMS by le thi diem thuy
  • MORO LIKE ME by Francisco Goldman
  • THE ROAD FROM BALLYGUNGE by Bharati Mukherjee
  • LIFE AS AN ALIEN by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
  • LOST IN THE MIDDLE by Malcolm Gladwell
  • A WHITE WOMAN OF COLOR by Julia Alvarez
  • A MIDDLE PASSAGE by Philippe Wamba
  • FOOD AND THE IMMIGRANT by Indira Ganesan
  • WHAT COLOR IS JESUS? by James McBride
  • POSTCARDS FROM “HOME” by Lori Tsang
  • FROM HERE TO POLAND by Nina Mehta
  • TECHNICOLOR by Ruben Martinez
  • AN ETHNIC  TRUMP by Gish Jen
  • About the Authors
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