Kenneally, an award-winning journalist offers here a deeply researched and multi-faceted perspective on the search for our historic and genetic heritage, a preoccupation enjoyed by many, especially because of the ability of modern science to push back layers of time to trace where we’ve come from and who we are.
In the process of tracing the scientific methods developed for this purpose, Kenneally reveals some of the pitfalls we may encounter when we unearth what’s been lost for generations and what good and bad usage can be made of this information. The discussions about the possibilities of misuse are poignant in that the history of genealogy is filled with such examples. Even though a proponent of genealogical research, the author suggests careful consideration before sharing personal information in this,”the age of information.” Besides this caveat the author asks and answers many questions about culture, prejudice, “race,” secrets of our past, and even what part Neanderthal DNA may play in our genetic makeup.
It turns out man’s legacy exists on many levels from historical artifacts to our DNA, our names, and even our emotions and belief systems. We carry the traces of forces that molded the earth, the migrations of people, and the encounters we have made along the way. And all of these forces have shaped every human who lives now or ever lived in the past. How can we not want to know more; to try to discover who we are is after all uniquely human.
Kenneally writes in a way easy to understand and follow and her fascination with these topics comes through loud and clear. If you are an arm chair genealogist, professional family researcher, historian, or lover of science, there is much to delight and enlighten you. Guaranteed you will not be bored!