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A. J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database."
That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A. J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs' three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.
Jacobs' journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends but not our family.
Now Jacobs upends, in ways both meaningful and hilarious, our understanding of genetics and genealogy, tradition and tribalism, identity and connection. It's All Relative is a fascinating look at the bonds that connect us all.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jennifer on 01-03-18
Humorous, honest and upbeat
Humorous tale of a one year journey to break the Guinness World Record for a family reunion. I enjoyed the continual return to a concept that if we are all ultimately related, then why should we be so devicive? A true answer.
The book did get a bit long, as so often is the case. At times I felt manipulated that the grand scheme of this project was really to write a book and sell. Of course i then bought it. But I am not sure that fact was ever hidden. Humor usually pulled me out of feeling too taken on a ride as the author's latest con to sell a book. Clearly he took each step and the journey was honest and filled with tales.
I am almost always a fan of the author reading his own book. I love the proper punch and pause of an author's own narration. This was not one of those times. Ever have a face not match a voice? Or a picture not match a profile? This was a narrator not matching the script. As odd as that must sound. It threw me chapter after chapter.