The Invisible History of the Human Race

The Invisible History of the Human Race

How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780670025558
  • 368  Pages
  • Viking Books


How biology, psychology, and history shape us as individuals

We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race
Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some
books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names
and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the
history of nations is written in our DNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that
shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it.

The Invisible History of the Human Race is a deeply researched, carefully crafted and provocative perspective on how our stories, psychology, and genetics affect our
past and our future.
The Invisible History of the Human Race

The Invisible History of the Human Race

Christine Kenneally


“The word ‘brilliant’ gets thrown around a lot, but it should be saved for Christine Kenneally and her book The Invisible History of the Human Race. Transcending the nature-nurture dichotomy, Kenneally shows us how our societies and our selves got to be the way they are. Don’t read this book looking for neat answers—gaze instead through a glorious kaleidoscope of science, psychology, history, and first-class storytelling.”
—Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking 
“Christine Kenneally’s brilliant, ambitious work integrates cutting-edge genetics with a deeply humanistic perspective on our personal and communal past. Transcending the usual intellectual silos, she shows how historical events became inscribed in DNA and how our ancestry casts riveting shadows onto the future. This wholly original book will change how you view your parents, your children, and your own messy, mosaic self.”
—Amanda Schaffer, contributor to the New Yorker online and contributing editor at MIT Technology Review 
“Christine Kenneally vividly traces the astonishing 21st century progress in the science of who we are.  And she never loses sight of the human stories we tell about our heredity and history, which constitute us just as much as bits and genes do.”
—Jordan Ellenberg, professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, author of How Not To Be Wrong:  The Power of Mathematical Thinking 
“Christine Kenneally’s sensational book belongs in the backpack of anyone who wants to explore his or her family’s past. Crisply written and packed with myriad fresh facts and rights, The Invisible History will make the journey down the genealogical trail a lot richer and more meaningful.” 
Sylvia Nasar, author of Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius 
“Magnificently rich and sweeping in scope, in impeccable yet intimate prose.”
—Cordelia Fine, ARC Future Fellow in Psychological Sciences and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, author of Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference 
“What a remarkable tour of the thousands of ways the past shapes who we are. Christine Kenneally covers everything from Tasmanian convict records to the absurdly complex genetics of height. By the end, you’ll have changed the way you think about identity, your name, and all those double helixes in your cells.” 
AJ Jacobs, Author of the Year of Living Biblically and organizer of the Global Family Reunion 


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