This book is indispensable. A hugely successful best-seller the other side of the Atlantic, it was released in 2018 in the United States under the title Who We Are and How We Got Here. Translated into French in November 2019 under the title Comment nous sommes devenus ce que nous sommes, with the subtitle Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, it is published by Quanto. Expected to have some success in France, it will be of interest to geneticists as well as historians, archaeologists, paleontologists, population history researchers and even linguists. Very well documented and constructed, it reads like a historical novel. It provides a snapshot of our knowledge of the past and the richness of our identities, and gives an overview of the contribution made by genetic research.
Thanks to rapid advances in genetic technology, it has become possible to extract and examine the ancient DNA of fossil remains to reveal successive waves of continual and forgotten migrations. Today we are the bearers of this heritage.
David Reich's team has been at the forefront of these discoveries, which reveal everything that genetics says about us and our unknown ancestors. If the book definitively buries the idea of racial purity, ancient DNA reveals profound differences between populations, genders and individuals.
The human adventure is given greater coherence and can no longer be represented by a common family tree, but rather as a mesh resulting from different peoples repeatedly crossing paths and weaving the web of our origins. Having studied the origins of our species, when analysing its development he observed the sudden emergence of genomic inequalities in Europe, India, America, Asia and Africa, and so looks into what genomics tells us about race and identity. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, David Reich tells the timeless story of our species, as lived by our ancestors and as it continues today, deep within us.
This book is available for 23.25 euros on the publisher's website or from your local bookseller.