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Saxons, Vikings, and Celts [Audio]
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WASPs finally get their due in this stimulating history by one of the world's leading geneticists. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is the most illuminating book yet to be written about the genetic history of Britain and Ireland. Through a systematic, ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, Bryan Sykes has traced the true genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants. This historical travelogue and genetic tour of the fabled isles, which includes accounts of the Roman invasions and Norman conquests, takes readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales, where a 300,000-year-old tooth was discovered, to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland, whose anatomically modern body was dyed with ochre by her grieving relatives nearly 29,000 years ago. A perfect work for anyone interested in the genealogy of England, Scotland, or Ireland, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts features a chapter specifically addressing the genetic makeup of those people in the United States who have descended from the British Isles.
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About the Author

Bryan Sykes is professor of human genetics at Oxford University. His company, Oxford Ancestors, traces human genetic backgrounds. Sykes's books include the "New York Times" bestseller "The Seven Daughters of Eve". Reader of over 400 audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of "Golden Voices."

Reviews

Readers picking up this book expecting to learn about the genetic background of the British Isles risk being overwhelmed by long passages full of accounts of wars and invasions, historical figures and place names that are largely unfamiliar to American readers. Sykes's goal, as it was in his The Seven Daughters of Eve and Adam's Curse, is to bring genetics to bear on archaeology and untangle the pedigrees of populations to reveal their origins. Unfortunately, in this case there is too much detailed recounting of each country's history so that by the time we arrive at Sykes's conclusion, it seems anticlimactic. In his favor, Sykes writes in an easy style suitable for popular science material and does make a good case for genetics taking its place alongside archaeology and history as a tool for understanding the past. His discussion of the ups and downs of doing field research provides an interesting look at how a scientist conducts research. Recommended only if there is demand. (Maps, index, and appendix not seen.) [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/06.]-Ann Forister, Roseville, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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