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The Great Human Diasporas: The History Of Diversity And Evolution [Paperback]

Lynn Parker , Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Amazon

The title The Great Human Diasporas implies that this book is a history of human migration, but it is much more. It is a readable, accessible summary of the lifework of Luca Cavalli-Sforza, who has done more than anyone else to reveal the genetic makeup of human populations. Originally written in Italian with Cavalli-Sforza's filmmaker son Francesco, it maintains some qualities of an interview: The Great Human Diasporas is full of anecdotes about the Pygmies with whom Cavalli-Sforza works, the text is frequently personal yet not self-serving, and it clearly shows how he helped tie together population genetics, linguistics, and anthropology to offer a new, non-racist view of human diversity.

From Publishers Weekly

Stanford geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza has spent more than 30 years studying genetic variations in DNA samples from the people around the world. The evidence, he says, supports the belief that modern humans originated in Africa, the Middle East or both regions, then spread around the planet. In this lucid report, written with his son Francesco, an educational film director, he uses genetic differences, maps, computer simulations and an analysis of linguistic changes in the world's languages to hypothetically reconstruct the mass migrations of people across continents since modern humans first appeared. He begins this scientific odyssey with an account of his hunt with pygmies-one of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers-in an African rain forest; then he discusses the spread of agriculture, cultural transmissions of behavior patterns, the Human Genome Project and the exceedingly slight differences among the races.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The Great Diasporas gives general readers access to the original, interesting interdisciplinary research of Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, a noted population geneticist. (Francesco Cavalli-Sforza is a creator and producer of educational films in Italy.) Although in part a first-person account, this book is mainly a semipopular exposition of what genetic variation among existing populations reveals about the evolution and history of the human species. Focusing on the genetic evidence for ancient dispersions of humankind-hence the title-the book's principal argument is that migrations have had a far greater influence on human genetic diversity than many researchers have supposed. Of the numerous topics covered, the most novel is the employment of genetic data to construct a tree of all human populations and especially to reconstruct the migrations of neolithic farming peoples into Europe. For the most part, the book is lucidly and engagingly written, though the brief discussion of statistical method (namely, principal components analysis) in Chapter 6 assumes previous knowledge and should therefore have been clarified. Recommended for all libraries.
James D. Haug, East Carolina Univ. Lib., Greenville, N.C.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Stanford University Medical School. He is the author of a number of seminal scientific books. Francesco Cavalli-Sforza is creator and producer of educational films, based primarily in Italy.
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