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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
Written by: Adam Rutherford
Narrated by: Adam Rutherford
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A National Geographic Best Book of the Year  

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. 

But those stories have always been locked away - until now. 

Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has completely upended what we thought we knew about ourselves. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story - from 100,000 years ago to the present.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2016 Adam Rutherford (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very informative. I loved listening

The author took on quite a task with the book. He made the book clear and offered a lot of real-world examples I would recommend this book to any who is curious about our origins.

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Absolutely brilliant

A concise and easy to understand history of humanity in the genetic and historical sense!

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Wanderlusting
  • 2018-10-17

too much politics and idealistic ranting

most of the chapters are excellent however towards the second half of the book he starts getting a bit political and goes on a few rants. he also contradicts himself a couple times against things you said in the first half of the book.. lots of potential I really enjoyed the genetic milk drinking tolerance chapter and sections on Ancient DNA.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Blais
  • 2019-04-24

DETAILED BUT ENTERTAINING

This book contains far more technical data about DNA and genetics than the average person would need. However it was very enlightening for scientific, social and historical ramifications. At times the author became carried away with philosophical issues but he presented this in a very clever and sometimes comical way. I finished the book much better informed about the science of genetics then when I started this is always a good thing. Of particular note is that the author / narrator did an excellent job and added familiarity and humor that was much appreciated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • melody sheldon
  • 2019-03-31

I wish this book was in American high schools.<br /><br />

This book along with "Guns, Germs and Steel", would be the death of American racism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DNA Diva
  • 2019-03-01

Both entertaining and informative

Adam uses wonderful analogies and has a very engaging, humorous writing (and speaking) style. As a scientist, I appreciated the details and evidence that was presented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Gunn
  • 2019-02-22

Content drifted away from title, but worth a read

Author was an excellent narrator and did a fabulous job of explaining some of the more complex elements of genetics.

The content didn't exactly follow the scope promised in the title, with a lot of side trips into the author's opinions on commercial genetic services, scientific principles, Christianity, creationism, etc not much of which, helped advance the explanation of our genetic history and seemed more of a soapbox for the author to take a shot at things he didn't like, but despite this, I think it's worth a read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • danee
  • 2018-11-07

So tedious and boring.

I love genetics and origin stories but this was so boring and tedious I couldn’t make it through. A few small pieces sounded so interesting bet fell flat.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful