Tuesday, May 15, 2012
1) Sykes, Bryan. DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America. 2012. Liveright. Hardbound: 369 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: 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.
RECOMMENDATION: If you think you know what it means to be an American, think again!