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Download DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America, by Bryan Sykes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (210 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bryan Sykes Narrator: John Curles Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Having worked on numerous high-profile genetic investigations, including one focused on the famed Iceman of the Italian Alps, Bryan Sykes has become a premier authority on human genetics. In DNA USA, Sykes examines the unique fabric of the U.S. population—one of the world’s most genetically variegated countries. His fascinating discoveries offer new insights into the biological profile of the great melting pot, one of the most genetically variegated countries in the world. From the blue-blooded pockets of old-WASP New England to the vast tribal lands of the Navajo, Bryan Sykes takes us on a historical genetic tour, interviewing genealogists, geneticists, anthropologists, and everyday Americans with compelling ancestral stories. His findings suggest:

– Of Americans whose ancestors came as slaves, virtually all have some European DNA.
– Racial intermixing appears least common among descendants of early New England colonists.
– There is clear evidence of Jewish genes among descendants of southwestern Spanish Catholics.
– Among white Americans, evidence of African DNA is most common in the South.
– European genes appeared among Native Americans as early as ten thousand years ago.

An unprecedented look into America's genetic mosaic and how we perceive race, DNA USA challenges the very notion of what we think it means to be American.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Human genetics energetically elucidated, entertaining travel writing, the fascinating personal stories of DNA volunteers, and Sykes’ candid musings on his awakening to the complex emotional and social implications of hidden biological inheritances make for a milestone book guaranteed to ignite spirited discussion.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Sykes combines history, science, travel, and memoir in one grand exposition of what it means to be an ‘American.’ In a graceful text, the author delivers rich images of the American landscape, conversations with strangers, and historic asides on the waves of immigration, the Indian diasporas and the various federal laws that shaped the movements of people across the continent…Sykes should also be applauded for his skills as a storyteller, science expositor, travel companion, and compassionate human being.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An authority on ancient DNA analysis, Sykes provides a nontechnical introduction to how Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA may be used to reveal ancestral heritage…These DNA portraits illustrate the complexity of human inheritance and how difficult it is to assign individuals to distinct groups.”

    Library Journal

  • New York Times Bestselling Author

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Mhd | 1/29/2014

    " The title is extremely misleading. It's much more something like "Sykes, who talks about DNA, visits part of the USA." It is very, very repetitive of his other books. On the other hand, given the complexity of some of the DNA content, some of that repetition may be worthwhile. What isn't at all worthwhile is the travelogue and name-dropping. I was really looking forward to this book, especially given all the press that NEHGS is giving it, but I'm very glad that I was able to check it out from my local library. I will not be buying it. And, my DNA research time would have been better spent reviewing the books I already have or even with the FTDNA website. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Fenix Rose | 1/27/2014

    " This was a very interesting and facinating book. What we look like on the outside and how society catagorizes us isnt necesarily our genetic makeup. All the more reason I dislike those ethnic/racial categories we are forced to choose from. Most of us are a mix, a mix we arent aware of for the most part. I wonder how those of us who are orphans or those who have only one parent that has been around would be affected by having their DNA mapped like this? Would we find a sense of belonging? Maybe not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Andrea | 1/26/2014

    " I found this book pretty interesting in parts especially the chapters that discussed the science of DNA and how an individual inherits his/her autosomal DNA down through the generations. The chapters in the book dealing with the road trip up to the Northwest interacting with the native tribes wasn't as interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peggy | 1/25/2014

    " Fascinating--for example--I learned that both horses and camels are native to North America! However, he is a bit too political, which is why it is not a 5-star book. "

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About the Author
Author Bryan Sykes

Bryan Sykes is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Seven Daughters of Eve and a former professor of human genetics at Oxford University. His company, Oxford Ancestors, is a genealogical DNA testing firm. He has been involved in a number of high-profile cases involving ancient DNA, most notably that of Ötzi the Iceman and Cheddar Man, two well preserved natural mummies. Sykes’ other books include Adam’s Curse: A Future Without Men, Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History, and The Human Inheritance: Genes, Language, and Evolution.