A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived - Adam Rutherford

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

By Adam Rutherford

  • Release Date: 2017-09-25
  • Genre: Life Sciences


National Book Critics Circle Award—2017 Nonfiction Finalist

Nothing less than a tour de force—a heady amalgam of science, history, a little bit of anthropology and plenty of nuanced, captivating storytelling.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

A National Geographic Best Book of 2017

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 blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. (For example, we now know that at least four human species once roamed the earth.) Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas—one that’s still being written, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced.

Rutherford closes with “A Short Introduction to the Future of Humankind,” filled with provocative questions that we’re on the cusp of answering: Are we still in the grasp of natural selection? Are we evolving for better or worse? And . . . where do we go from here?


  • Don’t Miss This Book!

    By PCHomepage
    One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. The author takes a complicated subject of immense depth and writes about it in a way that is easy to read and understand even by those who are not genetic scientists or even scientists of any sort. Although everything was fascinating, one of the most interesting to me was to do with race. It simply does not exist but rather than telling you why by rewriting the book in a review, I suggest you read it for yourself! However, my pet peeve is to do with language and while the author is obviously well-schooled ( ie. brilliant), he needs to learn how to properly use the word “only” as it is supposed to immediately precede the word it is amplifying. Here has a general example not from the book of how using it incorrectly changes the meaning: “I only speak English” This says that you can speak English but that you cannot read or write it and says nothing about any other language. Perhaps that was what was meant, however, it is likely this was what was meant: “I speak only English” This says nothing about reading or writing but does indicate that among the skills, speaking anything other than English isn’t one of them! There were a number of times this came up in the book where I had to re-read the sentence several times to figure out what was actually meant! That little grammar issue side, reading this book is a must. I started with the hard-copy, then switched over to the iBooks version but too bad there isn’t a facility for doing so without having to buy it all over again!