Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People
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Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

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by Jon Entine
     
 

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Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now in ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN bestselling author Jon Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today's most controversial topics: the

Overview

Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now in ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN bestselling author Jon Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today's most controversial topics: the connection between genetics and who we are, and specifically the question "Who is a Jew?"

Entine weaves a fascinating narrative, using breakthroughs in genetic genealogy to reconstruct the Jewish biblical tradition of the chosen people and the hereditary Israelite priestly caste of Cohanim. Synagogues in the mountains of India and China and Catholic churches with a Jewish identity in New Mexico and Colorado provide different patterns of connection within the tangled history of the Jewish diaspora. Legendary accounts of the Hebrew lineage of Ethiopian tribesmen, the building of Africa's Great Zimbabwe fortress, and even the so-called Lost Tribes are reexamined in light of advanced DNA technology. Entine also reveals the shared ancestry of Israelites and Christians.

As people from across the world discover their Israelite roots, their riveting stories unveil exciting new approaches to defining one's identity. Not least, Entine addresses possible connections between DNA and Jewish intelligence and the controversial notion that Jews are a "race apart." ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN is a compelling reinterpretation of biblical history and a challenging and exciting illustration of the promise and power of genetic research.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Do blacks have superior athleticism programmed into their genes? Do Jews' common DNA patterns give them not only superior intelligence but also a susceptibility to diseases like Tay-Sachs, breast cancer, ulcerative colitis, and Parkinson's? Reporter and Emmy Award-winning producer Entine (adjunct fellow, American Enterprise Inst. for Public Policy Research) explored the first question in 2000 with Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid To Talk About It. He now addresses similarly controversial ground in this study of the genetic makeup of Jews. His explorations take him from his own Jewish family members' cancer diagnoses to genetic labs-both academic and commercial-across the world, with lengthy forays into Jewish history, the history of Israel and Zionism, and the split between social anthropology and biological anthropology. While such books as Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman's DNA and Tradition: The Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrewshave covered the topic, this one is slated for a national media campaign. Though its arguments are provocative, it lacks the empirical evidence to back them up. Recommended for larger public libraries.
—Marcia Welsh

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446580632
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/24/2007
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.50(d)

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Meet the Author

Jon Entine, author of the bestseller TABOO: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk about It, is an international columnist, adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and consultant on business and media ethics. He spent twenty years as a producer and executive with NBC News and ABC News and has taught at numerous universities, including Miami University (Ohio) and New York University. He has been awarded many fellowships and prizes for his journalism, including a National Press Club award and two Emmys.

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Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I was going to read this book because of the controversy over IQ that it's stirred. That would have been a big mistake. That's such a minor portion of the book, and after reading it, the author could not have avoided the subject. After all, throughout history, except for the modern period, Jews have been considered a 'race' and have considered themselves a 'race.' This book discusses race and the history of 'race' very thoughtfully and not polemically. The real strength of the book, and why I heartily recommend it, is its fascinating narrative on the origins of Judaism and Christianity, and the story of the Israelites. Bible lovers like me 'and I'm not a strong believer, I just love history', won't be able to put this book down. It weaves history, archaeology, and genetic anthropology. In some cases, such as in the story of Aaron and his descendants, the Jewish priests, it provides genetic witness to Biblical claims. But it's not afraid to follow the facts when science challenges the literal text. It reviews everything from Christ's genealogy to the story of the Lost Tribes to the real origins and ancestral make-up of today's Jews -- a hot potato to those challenging the so-called 'right of return' by Jews to what they say is their ancient homeland. It's not pro-Jewish. In fact it's neutral on political issues. It seems all about challenging the reader to think outside their comfort zone. This book reminds me of Jared Diamond's 'Guns, Germs and Steal.' I loved it.
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