DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of Americaby Bryan Sykes
Crisscrossing the continent, a renowned geneticist provides a groundbreaking examination of America through its DNA.The best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve now turns his sights on the United States, one of the most genetically variegated countries in the world. From the blue-blooded pockets of old-WASP New England to the vast tribal/em>/p>… See more details below
Crisscrossing the continent, a renowned geneticist provides a groundbreaking examination of America through its DNA.The best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve now turns his sights on the United States, one of the most genetically variegated countries in the world. From the blue-blooded pockets of old-WASP New England to the vast tribal lands of the Navajo, Bryan Sykes takes us on a historical genetic tour, interviewing genealogists, geneticists, anthropologists, and everyday Americans with compelling ancestral stories. His findings suggest:
• Of Americans whose ancestors came as slaves, virtually all have some European DNA.
• Racial intermixing appears least common among descendants of early New England colonists.
• There is clear evidence of Jewish genes among descendants of southwestern Spanish Catholics.
• Among white Americans, evidence of African DNA is most common in the South.
• European genes appeared among Native Americans as early as ten thousand years ago.
An unprecedented look into America's genetic mosaic and how we perceive race, DNA USA challenges the very notion of what we think it means to be American.
- Liveright Publishing Corporation
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- NOOK Book
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- 8 MB
Meet the Author
Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, pioneered the use of DNA in exploring the human past. He is also the founder and chairman of Oxford Ancestors (oxfordancestors.com), which helps individuals explore their genetic roots using DNA. He is the author of Saxons, Vikings, and Celts; The Seven Daughters of Eve, a New York Times bestseller; and Adam’s Curse.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Several years ago, I started reading Bryan Sykes' books - his "Seven Daughters ..." being the first book I added to my library. I have always found Sykes' writing to be very informative and enjoyable - crafted with the lay person in mind. Although you are always aware that underpinning the chapters he has a much deeper knowledge and experience, Sykes has the happy knack of creating a friendly 'fireside chat' atmosphere as you eagerly turn the pages. This book is part travelog (the East to West journey across the US) and part DNA research and discussion - both matters blended seamlessly I might add. I am an amateur genealogist, 'wanna-be' paleoanthropologist, and DNA 'gene-ealogist' (having taken every test available through FTDNA to bolster but not replace my paper research), and I have a small but rapidly growing library of books on these related subjects. I'm happy to have added this book to my shelves, and I am confident those with similar interests will feel the same. Recommended.
Good, but not up to the standard set my his first 3 books which were terrific. More of a rambling travelogue than an informative picture of American diversity.
The book was a disappointment. The beginning and end effectively deal with genetics but the rest of the book is a rambling recollection of the author's trips to the United States. Most shockingly, however, is that he concludes that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings based upon DNA analysis when an analysis based upon any fundamental genealogical proof standard would never make such a conclusion. Message to author: Stick to your DNA work and leave genealogical analysis to the genealogists.
The genetics of this undoubtedly is valid and informative. However, Sykes would have done well to have an archaeologist and possibly also historian as collaborators, for it is clear that he is largely ignorant of these subjects in North America. The writing style is infuriatingly patronizing. I will finish reading it for the rather low percent of the content that actually is about the genetics, which is why I bought it, and put up with filtering that from the simplistic and amateurishly written exposition of the cultural and historical context of the genetic studies.