How biology, psychology, and history shape 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 to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race
Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and 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. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the
history of nations is written 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 ultimately 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 future.
“The construction of identity is the concern at the heart of this original and provocative book, which employs the approaches of psychology, sociology, philosophy, and Mendelian genetics. Case studies of ethnic groups point to a complex, reciprocal relationship among DNA, culture, and environment . . . . Genetic traits, Kenneally shows, are modified by factors such as other genes, noncoding DNA, and chemical changes in the body. She suggests that one’s understanding of one’s identity is at least as deterministic as one’s genetic inheritance. When it comes to our knowledge of DNA, Kenneally writes, ‘there is still more dark matter in this particular universe than not.’”
—The New Yorker