Christine Kenneally: The Invisible History of the Human Race How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

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Ctions that no one can predict or controlKenneally also is careful to point out that despite the modern advances in recording information and examining our genetic code modern technologies and businesses are incredibly temporary From the Domesday genealogical information burned on to laser discs that can no longer be read to the genetic testing company sold and your information sold with it we need to be cautious in how we proceed with documenting and sharing our histories an absolute mess of a book which put me in a bad mood every time I picked it p lacking in structure or focus ambles through its alleged topic without a point of view most deceptive is the title which falsely promises a cohesive summary of Dna science if I m not mistaken Dna isn t even mentioned More George W. Bushisms until the midway point of the book and this is most certainly not a history of the human race invisible or visible good riddance Disclosure I received this book free as a First Read from GoodreadsThe words history Human Race and DNA in the title and subtitle mislead the potential reader The book is really about personal identity and the discovery of ancestry The author specifically mentions the scientific community holding investigations into one s heredity as less than important and the author argues that these things matter and have significance While they may have significance to the people who have discovered things about themselves that have impacted their sense of personal identity no evidence is given to refute the overall attitude of the scientific community Rather it is clear through the book that personal journeys and not scientific discovery are most important to the author Pages are dedicated to the latest scientific breakthroughs and the author does seem to believe in the importance of scientific advancement However in the end it always comes back to how it affected an individual who heard the news This makes for an entertaining and emotional piece of fluff As long as that s what you re looking for it s a pretty good book The best parts involve the research into specific groups of people who are especially affected by their place in the world whether it be because of persecution governmental indifference or susceptibility to disease If the title had been Our Invisible Past How Our Ancestry and Our Knowledge of Our Ancestry Shape Our Personal Identities then it would have been a accurate title but then again I wouldn t have read a book with that title I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway and it was an interesting read on the impact of inheritance Kenneally introduces a later chapter in the book with a fantastic Confucianote that I think aptly describes the main thrust of the book By nature men are nearly alike by practice they get to be wide apart Despite the subtitle Nd where we may be going While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy This book shows how trust is inherited in Africa silence is passed down in Tasmania and how the history of nations is wri.

Great writer good reporter But goodness how difficult to follow To do it over I might start with the Epilogue then move to the last chapter That s the only way I can figure to The Making Of Henri Higgins understand what points she is making Somebody should have helped her organize this rambling thing The author could take some clues from great educators Tells what you will say and why Then say it Repeatedly I was following some path of information simply to see it disappear or later be disavowed entirely Probably the biggest point is that cultures can last a long long time And that s surprising To me the most important information involved all the evidence why when we try to trace our ancestors we come to severely incorrect conclusions Clandestine and other forms I received this book for free through Goodreads First ReadsThe Invisible History of the Human Race How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures seeks to show how the concept of ancestry can bring genetics and history together fruitfully Author Christine Kenneally is very successful in this objective weaving together stories of genealogy historical records and genetic science She divides the book into three sectionsI Ideas About What Is Passed Down Are Passed Down a somewhat awkward way of describing the four chapters that deal with the negative perceptions of genealogy hidden family histories and the terrible ideas behind eugenics and the Third Reich s racial doctrines Kenneally explores the way that our genealogical history has been tied to social status and a sense of belonging in exclusive groupsII What is Passed Down a mix of information on genealogy and DNA Kenneally also ses this section to talk about what is not passed down those parts of our past that we remain silent aboutIII How What Is Passed Down Shapes Bodies and Minds two short chapters on how our family history or the information in our genes affect s today These continue the conversations in section II to give a modern look at how our society thinks about these issuesI think the best parts of The Invisible History of the Human Race How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures are those sections that help to illuminate how each of Taming a Dark Horse (Men of the West, us is part of a broader fabric that extends backwards and forwards in time In Do Not Ask What Gets Passed Down Kenneally writesWe live in a temporal envelope For most ofs the horizon extends forward maybe two generations and back just two or three It is hard to break out of the mind set that we stand at a crucial center point of that span and that all the people who came before were merely precursors to The Child Who Rescued Christmas / Firefighter with a Frozen Heart us It isn tntil you populate the family tree that it becomes clear how brief a human life is how soon it is over and how you only play a bit part in a story line that expands out and contracts back and goes off in dire. What the latest research reveals about how the history of the human race shapes The Sabbides Secret Baby us as individuals We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible tos In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell s where we come from

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Assumed the main argument of this book would be to highlight the migration of variances in human DNA around the world I was wrong while this is discussed the main topic of the book is the combination of genetic and cultural inheritance and what it means for individuals and societies It is an interesting and at times surprising bookIt is not surprising that the Kenneally must discuss eugenics at some point In her first section she describes different attitudes about inheritance Kenneally s discussion of the eugenics movement and Madison Grant in particular is very revealing A major conservationist and friend and ally of Theodore Roosevelt Grant is lauded for his environmentalist tendencies The paternalism and racism with which he approached eugenics was born in his mind out of the same progressive motivations It is chilling and interesting to me that so divergent outcomes with today s moralistic hindsight could be birthed by the same primary motivation In today s world where conservation is considered a necessity and a virtue and racism is regarded as deplorable Grant is a hard person to nderstand But for him preserving his beloved redwoods and bison putting human beings on display and saving the Nordic race were all part of the same package Grant believed that all these actions were a benevolent form of stewardship 58Nazi genealogy and eugenics picked Until Again up on Grant s work Hitler s physician Major General Karl Brandt referenced Madison Grant s The Passing of the Great Race in defense of Nazi activities Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community The laws of nature reuire the obliteration of thenfit and human life is valuable only when it is of The Heirs Proposal use to the community or race 76 I find this very disturbing indeedThe second part of the book discusses primarily what is NOT passed down Discussing the importance of memory and inheritance Totalitarian power thrives when it alienates people from basic information about themselves 92 It is a dehumanizing process and repeated in moments of slavery communist regimes and other totalitarian statesLastly Kenneally finishes with a discussion of how transmitted information affects individuals and societies Economic impacts of distant historical events through time have now been studied Horizontal transmission things learned from peers in a society and vertical transmission what gets passed down in a society both have a massive impact The impact of vertical transmission of cultural and societal behaviors isite large and surprisingAll in all this is an easy read and a thoughtful personal than expected book about how we become who we ar. Tten in our DNA From fateful ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ltimately shape each human who inhabits it The Invisible History of the Human Race is a deeply researched carefully crafted and provocative perspective on how our stories psychology and genetics affect our past and our futu.

Christine Kenneally is Australian and received her PhD in linguistics at Cambridge She has written about language science and culture for publications such as the New Yorker the New York Times Scientific American Discover and Slate