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The Great Human Diasporas

by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza and Francesco Cavalli-Sforza
Reading, MA: Basic Books, 1996. 320 pages.

The lifework of Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza has been to investigate the history of humanity through its genetic makeup; The Great Human Diasporas, written in collaboration with his filmmaker son and translated from the Italian, distills his prodigious scientific knowledge into a form accessible to the general reader. A central chapter explains how Cavalli-Sforza used archaeological and genetic data to reconstruct the human population movements of the last ten thousand years (especially in Europe). The Great Human Diasporas also touches on the fundamentals of evolutionary theory as well as issues of eugenics, linguistics, racism, and genetic engineering.