Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

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Penguin, Mar 27, 2007 - Science - 320 pages
104 Reviews
Nicholas Wade’s articles are a major reason why the science section has become the most popular, nationwide, in the New York Times. In his groundbreaking Before the Dawn, Wade reveals humanity’s origins as never before—a journey made possible only recently by genetic science, whose incredible findings have answered such questions as: What was the first human language like? How large were the first societies, and how warlike were they? When did our ancestors first leave Africa, and by what route did they leave? By eloquently solving these and numerous other mysteries, Wade offers nothing less than a uniquely complete retelling of a story that began 500 centuries ago.

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Review: Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

User Review  - Goodreads

There is much to recommend in the book. It is skillful in weaving the new information from DNA sequencing with the older sciences and the conclusions derived through these. Each chapter is headed by a ... Read full review

Review: Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

User Review  - Goodreads

I've been recently interested in anthology but reading this book made me realize that it can get boring, mostly because the book bases most of what it writes on the science of genetics and that can ... Read full review


The First Tailored Clothes
From Adam to Jefferson
Transforming Ape Society into Human Society
The Farewell to Fur
The First Exit from Africa
Anatomically and Behaviorally Modern Humans
The Nature of Language
Pidgins Creoles and Sign Languages
The Costs and Benefits of Warfare
The Efficacy of Primitive Warfare
The Skeleton in the Human Past
The Evolutionary Basis of Social Behavior
The Evolution of Religion
The Privatization of Sex
The Domestication of People
The Progression of Human Society

Evolutionary Pressures for Language
Discovery of a Gene for Language
The Genealogies of Eve and Adam
Estimating the Ancestral Population Size
The Click Language Echo from the Mother Tongue
Tracing the Boundaries of Eden
Between the Universal People and the Real People
Ancestral Portrait
Passage to India
Peopling the Lost Continents of Sunda and Sahul
The Enigma of the Andaman Islanders
The Penetration of East Asia and Indonesia
The Long Struggle against the Neanderthals
The Moderns Conquest
Upper Paleolithic Transitions
The Upper Paleolithic in Eastern Asia
The First Discovery of the Americas
Adapting to Cold with Mitochondrial DNA
Origin of the Mongoloid Peoples
Settlement and Domestication
Lactose Tolerance
The Dynamics of Primate Societies
The Bonobo Alternative
Differentiation of the Ancestral Human Population
Identifying Race by DNA
Scientific Attitudes to Race
Genotype and Phenotype among Races
Genes versus Geography
Emergence of Human Races
Language Spread Zones and Mosaic Zones
The Coming of the IndoEuropeans
Can Languages Be Dated?
A New Date for ProtoIndoEuropean
The Greenberg Synthesis
The Comparative Method versus Mass Comparison
The Eurasiatic Superfamily
Echoes of the First Language
The Secret Strategy of Genghis Khan
A History of Britain from the Genomes Viewpoint
The Origin of Icelanders
Jewish Origins
DNA and the Secret Family of Thomas Jefferson
Evolution in the Recent Human Past
Evolution in History
Future Directions of Human Evolution

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About the author (2007)

Nicholas Wade received a BA in natural sciences from King’s College, Cambridge. He was the deputy editor of Nature magazine in London and then became that journal’s Washington correspondent. He joined Science magazine in Washington as a reporter and later moved to The New York Times, where he has been an editorial writer, concentrating on issues of defense, space, science, medicine, technology, genetics, molecular biology, the environment, and public policy, a science reporter, and a science editor.

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