Review – Ancestors in Our Genome

Cover of Ancestors in Our GenomeAncestors in Our Genome, Eugene E. Harris
Received to review via Netgalley

I got this as an ARC a while ago, but never got round to reviewing it, which probably isn’t going to do me any good with the OUP approving future requests. Ah, well. This one is, if you know anything about me, obviously right up my street: so much so that most of it wasn’t new to me, whether because I read about it in New Scientist, heard about it in one of the MOOCs I’ve taken part in, or read about it in another book somewhere. So for me this was more of a review than anything: a clearly written overview of what we currently know about human evolution.

So it was almost inevitably interesting for me, but I think I would recommend it for other people too. Harris’ explanations are clear, without going into so much depth that it doesn’t fit in, say, the popular science section. It’s pretty up to date, as one would hope from such a recent publication, and it’s more or less uncontroversial (to my mind, anyway; you may disagree if the very fact that chimpanzees are our close cousins is a subject of doubt for you). So: not revelatory, but solid and easy to read, a good way to update your knowledge and brush up on where the field is now.

Rating: 4/5


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