Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins (2002)
by Steve Olson
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618352104, Paperback)
In a journey across four continents, acclaimed science writer Steve Olson traces the origins of modern humans and the migrations of our ancestors throughout the world over the past 150,000 years. Like Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, Mapping Human History is a groundbreaking synthesis of science and history. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including the latest genetic research, linguistic evidence, and archaeological findings, Olson reveals the surprising unity among modern humans and "demonstrates just how naive some of our ideas about our human ancestry have been" (Discover).Olson offers a genealogy of all humanity, explaining, for instance, why everyone can claim Julius Caesar and Confucius as forebears. Olson also provides startling new perspectives on the invention of agriculture, the peopling of the Americas, the origins of language, the history of the Jews, and more. An engaging and lucid account, Mapping Human History will forever change how we think about ourselves and our relations with others.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:07 -0400)
Until just a few years ago, we knew surprisingly little about the 150,000 or so years of human existence before the advent of writing. Some of the most momentous events in our past--including our origins, our migrations across the globe, and our acquisition of language--were veiled in the uncertainty of "prehistory." That veil is being lifted at last by geneticists and other scientists. Mapping Human History is nothing less than an astonishing "history of prehistory." Best of all, the story it tells, of why groups of humans differ and what those differences mean, pertains to our lives today. Steve Olson traveled through four continents to gather insights into the development of humans and our expansion throughout the world. He describes, for example, new thinking about how centers of agriculture sprang up from disparate foraging societies at roughly the same time. He tells us why we can all claim Julius Caesar and Confucius among our forebears. He pinpoints the ways in which the story of the Jewish people jibes with, and diverges from, biblical accounts. And, using very recent genetic findings, he explodes the myth that human races are a biological reality. In the tradition of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Olson's Mapping Human History offers an ambitious, original, and convincing narrative that reveals where we came from and how we became who we are possibly have biological origins.
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.