Adam Rutherford - A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297609391
    • Publication date:08 Sep 2016
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409161080
    • Publication date:08 Sep 2016

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

The Stories in Our Genes

By Adam Rutherford

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

A dazzling tour of the latest genetic discoveries which are blurring the boundaries between science and history - 'Brilliant, authoritative, surprising, captivating' BRIAN COX

This is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex.

In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about human history, and what history can now tell us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780229072
  • Publication date: 07 Sep 2017
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: W&N
I very much enjoyed and admired . . . A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived — Bill Bryson, OBSERVER Books of the Year 2016
An effervescent work, brimming with tales and confounding ideas carried in the "epic poem in our cells". The myriad storylines will leave you swooning . . . Rutherford, a trained geneticist, is an enthusiastic guide — Colin Grant, GUARDIAN
A thoroughly entertaining history of Homo sapiens and its DNA in a manner that displays popular science writing at its best — Robin McKie, OBSERVER
A brilliant, authoritative, surprising, captivating introduction to human genetics. If you know little about the human story, you will be spellbound. If you know a lot about the human story, you'll be spellbound. It's that good — Brian Cox
Adam Rutherford's book is well-written, stimulating and entertaining. What's more important, he consistently gets it right — Richard Dawkins
If you are ethnically British, one thing is certain: your ancestors definitely had sex with Neanderthals. On the other hand, they probably didn't have sex with Vikings, who, it turns out, did a fair bit more pillaging than raping. And, depending on the flakiness of your earwax, it is just conceivable that your relatives' unattractiveness to hairy and horned invaders was related to their body odour. DNA is fragile, confusing and contains a lot of pointless data. But unlike other accounts of human history it doesn't lie. Adam Rutherford's soaring book is an exposition of what this new science really tells us about who we are — Tom Whipple, THE TIMES
One of the most extraordinary things about this book is its sheer breadth. Rutherford, a writer and geneticist, weaves from our genes a fascinating tapestry of human history from its most primitive origins to its sophisticated present, and beyond ... The writing is concise and often funny, and Rutherford never takes himself or his subject too seriously ... It is one of those rare books that you'll finish thinking you haven't wasted a single second — Brad Davies, INDEPENDENT
Magisterial, informative and delightful — Peter Frankopan
Rutherford takes off on an extraordinary adventure, following the wandering trail of DNA across the globe and back in time. And on the way, he reveals what DNA can - and can't - tell us about ourselves, our history and our deep evolutionary heritage. From the Neanderthals to the Vikings, from the Queen of Sheba to Richard III, Rutherford goes in search of our ancestors, tracing the genetic clues deep into the past . . . Wide-ranging, witty, full of surprises and studded with sparkling insights - Rutherford uncovers the epic history of the human species, written in DNA — Alice Roberts
A captivating delight. With witty, authoritative and profound prose, Adam Rutherford tackles the biggest of issues - where we came from, and what makes us who we are. He does more than any author to cut through the confusion around genetics, and to reveal what modern genetics has to say about our identity, history and future — Ed Yong
Genetics is opening up the past as never before - Adam Rutherford puts the genes in genealogy brilliantly — Matt Ridley
W&N

Goodbye, Europe

Various
Authors:
Various

From Paris to Prague, from the past to the present, authors and artists say farewell in this unique collection.In these pages you'll find personal letters, reminiscences, poetry, art and brand new fiction from some of the most talented and important voices at work today, including Jessie Burton, Alain de Botton, Matt Haig, Richard Herring, Owen Jones, Mark Kermode, Robert Macfarlane, Kate Mosse, Chris Riddell, Lionel Shriver and many more. A fascinating, funny and moving must-read for anyone who wants to understand the times we live in, our relationship with the continent, and ourselves.INCLUDES PIECES BY: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Tom Bradby, Jessie Burton, Ben Collins (aka The Stig), Colonel Tim Collins, Robert Crampton, Adam Dant, Alain de Botton, Kate Eberlen, Matt Frei, Nicci French, Simon Garfield, Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker (Jonathan Lynn), Matt Haig, Richard Herring, Jennifer Higgie, Afua Hirsch, Owen Jones, Oliver Kamm, Alex Kapranos, Mark Kermode, Hari Kunzru, Olivia Laing, Marie Le Conte, Amy Liptrot, Robert Macfarlane, Henry Marsh, Val McDermid, Ian McEwan, Hollie McNish, Kate Mosse, Jenni Murray, Sarah Perry, Ian Rankin, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Chris Riddell, Andrew Roberts, Will Self, David Shrigley, Lionel Shriver, Sunny Singh, Ece Temelkuran, Rob Temple, Bee Wilson, Sara Winman

W&N

The Broken Ladder

Keith Payne
Authors:
Keith Payne

Inequality is at a level that has not been seen in our lifetimes, yet the disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. THE BROKEN LADDER tells the story of inequality and its impact on everything from our thinking to our mood and our health.Feeling poor matters - not just being poor. It affects how we make decisions, how our immune systems function and even how we view moral concepts like justice and fairness. Regardless of their average incomes, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social maladies we associate with poverty: lower than average life expectancy, mental illness and crime.Using groundbreaking research in psychology and neuroscience, Keith Payne explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children and why they have them at a younger age; why people's perception of their social status affects their political beliefs; how poverty raises stress levels as much as physical threats; how inequality in the workplace affects performance; and why unequal societies tend to become more religious. Replete with insights and illuminating examples, THE BROKEN LADDER outlines the steps we can take to get off the endless treadmill of social comparison.

W&N

Admissions

Henry Marsh
Authors:
Henry Marsh
W&N

Deviate

Beau Lotto
Authors:
Beau Lotto

World-renowned neuroscientist Beau Lotto reveals the truths of human perception and devises a cognitive toolkit for how to succeed in a world of uncertainty.Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand how our own perception works. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and perception, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing.In his first major book, Beau Lotto draws on over a decade of pioneering research to show how our brains play tricks on us. With an innovative combination of case studies and optical- and perception-illusion exercises, DEVIATE will revolutionise the way you see the world. With this new understanding of how the brain works and its perceptive trickery, we can apply these insights to every aspect of life and work. DEVIATE is not just an engaging look into the neuroscience of thought, behaviour and creativity: it is a call to action, enlisting readers in their own journey of self-discovery.

Orion

The Ascent of Gravity

Marcus Chown
Authors:
Marcus Chown
W&N

Stiff Upper Lip

Alex Renton
Authors:
Alex Renton

'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPHThis is the story of generations of parents, Britain's richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on - as they still do - to run Britain's public institutions and private companies.Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today's British elite.

W&N

The Ancestor's Tale

Richard Dawkins, Yan Wong
Authors:
Richard Dawkins, Yan Wong
W&N

Bringing in the Sheaves

Richard Coles
Authors:
Richard Coles

After a life of sex and drugs and the Communards - brilliantly recounted in the highly acclaimed first volume of his memoirs FATHOMLESS RICHES - the Reverend Richard Coles went on to devote his life to God and Christianity. He is also a much-loved broadcaster, presenting SATURDAY LIVE on Radio 4 and giving us regular reason to PAUSE FOR THOUGHT on Radio 2. What is life like for the parson in Britain today? For centuries the Church calendar - and the Church minister - gave character and personality to British life. Today, however, as the shape of the year has become less distinct and faith no longer as privileged or persuasive, that figure has become far more marginal. In BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES, Reverend Coles answers this question. From his ordination during the season of Petertide, through Advent and Christmas to Lent and Easter, he gives us a unique insight into his daily experience in the ministry, with all the joy, drama, difficulty and humour which life - and indeed death - serves up in varying measures. Written with extraordinary charm and erudition, BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES features a multitude of characters and events from parish life against a backdrop of the Christian calendar.

Orion

Signals

Pippa Malmgren
Authors:
Pippa Malmgren
W&N

East West Street

Philippe Sands
Authors:
Philippe Sands
W&N

The Diet Myth

Tim Spector
Authors:
Tim Spector
Orion

Quantum

Jim Al-Khalili
Authors:
Jim Al-Khalili

From Schrodinger's cat to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this book untangles the weirdness of the quantum world.Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself. And yet it has been said that if you're not shocked by it, you don't understand it. But is quantum physics really so unknowable? Is reality really so strange? And just how can cats be half-alive and half-dead at the same time?Our journey into the quantum begins with nature's own conjuring trick, in which we discover that atoms -- contrary to the rules of everyday experience -- can exist in two locations at once. To understand this we travel back to the dawn of the twentieth century and witness the birth of quantum theory, which over the next one hundred years was to overthrow so many of our deeply held notions about the nature of our universe. Scientists and philosophers have been left grappling with its implications every since.Read by Hugh Kermode(p) 2016 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

The Moon

David Whitehouse
Authors:
David Whitehouse
W&N

The Sun

David Whitehouse
Authors:
David Whitehouse

In The Sun, David Whitehouse takes us on a journey to the heart of our local star and beyond, relating how it was born, the many ways it influences life on Earth and how it will die. He recounts the many myths surrounding the Sun and the fascinating stories of scientists throughout history who have attempted to discover its secrets - occasionally at the price of their lives.The Sun explores the role of the sun for those on Earth, from the earliest civilizations that worshipped it, through its emulation in art and literature to the present day. He describes the inferno at its core, the magnetic chaos of its surface and the furthest reaches of its atmosphere that stretches beyond the planets out into the galaxy. Within our lifetimes he considers that changes in the sun will become noticeable, an issue that we ignore at our peril.Finally, David Whitehouse speculates on the future of life on Earth with a sun that must ultimately turn into a red giant. From its birth in a cloud of gas and dust, its long lifetime nurturing life on our own planet, to its death as a cosmic cinder, this is our Sun's story.

W&N

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

David Whitehouse
Authors:
David Whitehouse

The journey to the centre of the earth is a voyage like no other we can imagine.Over 3,000 km below the earth's surface an extraordinary inner world the size of Mars awaits us.Dive through the molten iron of the outer core and eventually you will reach a solid sphere - an iron-clad world held within a metal sea and unattached to anything above.At the earth's core is the history of our planet written in temperature and pressure, crystals and minerals . . . Our planet appears tranquil from outer space. And yet the arcs of volcanoes, the earthquake zones and the auroral glow rippling above our heads are testimony to something remarkable happening inside . . .For thousands of years these phenomena were explained in legend and myth. Only in recent times has the brave new science of seismology emerged. One hundred and fifty years after the extraordinary, imaginative feat of Jules Verne's JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, David Whitehouse embarks on a voyage of scientific discovery into the heart of our world.

Orion

A Monstrous Commotion

Gareth Williams
Authors:
Gareth Williams
W&N

The Character of Cats

Stephen Budiansky
Authors:
Stephen Budiansky
Orion

The Nature of Sex

Dr Carin Bondar
Authors:
Dr Carin Bondar

Narrated by the author.Thought about sex today? Of course you have! It's about the most natural thing any animal can do. But have you ever wondered how human sex compares to that of other beasts? It's far from merely inserting part A into slot B. The sex lives of our animal cousins are fiendishly difficult, infinitely varied and often violent. They involve razor sharp penises, murderous cannibals and chemical warfare in an epic battle between the sexes.Like us, animals must first find the perfect partner. You think we have it tough? Try having to do it while being hunted down by predators, against a backdrop of unpredictable or life-threatening conditions. Then, sperm and egg must successfully meet. Can you imagine doing this when your partner is intent on killing you or when other disgruntled singles are determined to throw you off your game? The next task is to ensure that the resultant offspring reach sexual maturity in order to keep the cycle going. The myriad ways in which this is accomplished is ingenious.Join Carin Bondar on a fascinating journey from puberty to old age across the entire animal kingdom - it will forever change your idle daydreams about the nature of sex.(p) 2015 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

H2O

Philip Ball
Authors:
Philip Ball

The brilliantly told and gripping story of the most familiar - yet, amazingly, still poorly understood - substance in the universe: Water.The extent to which water remains a scientific mystery is extraordinary, despite its prevalence and central importance on Earth. Whether one considers its role in biology, its place in the physical world (where it refuses to obey the usual rules of liquids) or its deceptively simple structure, there is still no complete answer to the question: what is water? Philip Ball's book explains what, exactly, we do and do not know about the strange character of this most essential and ubiquitous of substances.H20 begins by transporting its readers back to the Big Bang and the formation of galaxies to witness the birth of water's constituent elements: hydrogen and oxygen. It then explains how the primeval oceans were formed four billion years ago; where water is to be found on other planets; why ice floats when most solids sink; why, despite being highly corrosive, water is good for us; why there are at least fifteen kinds of ice and perhaps two kinds of liquid water; how scientists have consistently misunderstood water for centuries; and why wars have been waged over it.Philip Ball's gloriously offbeat and intelligent book conducts us on a journey through the history of science, folklore, the wilder scientific fringes, cutting-edge physics, biology and ecology, to give a fascinating new perspective on life and the substance that sustains it. After reading this book, drinking a glass of water will never be the same again.

Orion

The Human Brain

Susan Greenfield
Authors:
Susan Greenfield

Locked away remote from the rest of the body in its own custom-built casing of skull bone, with no intrinsic moving parts, the human brain remains a tantalising mystery. But now, more than ever before, we have the expertise to tackle this mystery - the last 20 years have seen astounding progress in brain research. Susan Greenfield begins by exploring the roles of different regions of the brain. She then switches to the opposite direction and examines how certain functions, such as movement and vision, are accommodated in the brain. She describes how a brain is made from a single fertilized egg, and the fate of the brain is traced through life as we see how it constantly changes as a result of experience to provide the essence of a unique individual.A bite-sized science classic, read by Fiona Shaw(p) 1997 Orion Publishing Group