From the best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve, an illuminating guide to the genetic history of the British Isles.
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.