A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
Narrated by: Adam Rutherford
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A National Geographic Best Book of the Year  

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. 

But those stories have always been locked away - until now. 

Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has completely upended what we thought we knew about ourselves. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story - from 100,000 years ago to the present.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2016 Adam Rutherford (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

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DETAILED BUT ENTERTAINING

This book contains far more technical data about DNA and genetics than the average person would need. However it was very enlightening for scientific, social and historical ramifications. At times the author became carried away with philosophical issues but he presented this in a very clever and sometimes comical way. I finished the book much better informed about the science of genetics then when I started this is always a good thing. Of particular note is that the author / narrator did an excellent job and added familiarity and humor that was much appreciated.

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I wish this book was in American high schools.<br /><br />

This book along with "Guns, Germs and Steel", would be the death of American racism.

4 people found this helpful

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Both entertaining and informative

Adam uses wonderful analogies and has a very engaging, humorous writing (and speaking) style. As a scientist, I appreciated the details and evidence that was presented.

2 people found this helpful

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Sit back and listen to the sweep of human history

Rutherford does a great job of summing up the pieces of human biological history. He weaves together lots of facts and observations that add to a detailed picture of the sweep and pageantry.

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Good, interesting, could be shorter

The book is good but would have benefited from being less lengthy. Some repetitions over too many hours - 12+. Nevertheless, it offers interesting facts, ideas, and perspectives

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A brilliant description of modern human genetics

There are numerous books on human genetics. This is one of the very best. Clearly written, the science well explained, examples and analogies bring the incredibly complex subject of genetics into understandable focus. The data is current and leaves an excited expectation for future developments.

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too much politics and idealistic ranting

most of the chapters are excellent however towards the second half of the book he starts getting a bit political and goes on a few rants. he also contradicts himself a couple times against things you said in the first half of the book.. lots of potential I really enjoyed the genetic milk drinking tolerance chapter and sections on Ancient DNA.

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Content drifted away from title, but worth a read

Author was an excellent narrator and did a fabulous job of explaining some of the more complex elements of genetics.

The content didn't exactly follow the scope promised in the title, with a lot of side trips into the author's opinions on commercial genetic services, scientific principles, Christianity, creationism, etc not much of which, helped advance the explanation of our genetic history and seemed more of a soapbox for the author to take a shot at things he didn't like, but despite this, I think it's worth a read.

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A great book

I did have to listen in small samples, but since this is not usually something I would ever buy that was ok. I heard Adam Rutherford on a podcast and he was so interesting, I decided I had to hear more. He makes his subject very accessible, and I enjoy his humor.

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Brilliant- a must science read

Adam Rutherford has crafted a clear, comprehensible and thoughtful description of up to date genetics research, the scientific path taken to achieve this understanding (as well as to eventually improve it) and the implications of what we have learned on human society. Books like this are essential in combatting the ill effects of pseudoscience and it’s social/political abuse (just think of Nazi eugenics- and that’s just the start of it). What make this book the best, however, are the author’s gift with language and his excellent oratory skills. He is at once personable, knowledgeable and extremely witty without being condescending or off putting in any way. Highly recommended for all thoughtful, educated people (and the rest of us who aspire to be so).