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Publisher's Summary

WASPs finally get their due in this stimulating history by one of the world's leading geneticists. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is the most illuminating book yet to be written about the genetic history of Britain and Ireland.
Through a systematic, 10-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, Bryan Sykes has traced the true genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants. This historical travelogue and genetic tour of the fabled isles, which includes accounts of the Roman invasions and Norman conquests, takes listeners from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales, where a 300,000-year-old tooth was discovered, to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland, whose anatomically modern body was dyed with ochre by her grieving relatives nearly 29,000 years ago.
A perfect work for anyone interested in the genealogy of England, Scotland, or Ireland, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts features a chapter specifically addressing the genetic makeup of those people in the United States who have descended from the British Isles.
©2006 Bryan Sykes (P)2006 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Gary on 04-02-13

Makes history and myth come alive

Data is not understood in a vacuum, so the author first enchants the listener with the history and myths of the people of Great Britain and relates that to what his DNA analysis tells him. The story comes alive when he explains the history and myth of the British, and he writes better than almost anyone on those topics.

The author steps you through past attempts at understanding the genetics of the British and how DNA can be used to help deconvolve the problem.

He never lets the science or the data get in the way of telling a good narrative and at times the book was like listening to a beautiful song.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Benjamin on 09-26-12

Good Listen

What made the experience of listening to Saxons, Vikings, and Celts the most enjoyable?

The story was easy to follow even if it was some what technical at time but the author made the best of the situation.

What did you like best about this story?

The out come of the story was the best part because it wasn't what I was expecting.

Which scene was your favorite?

My Favorite scene was the part where the author asked a man for a DNA sample and he says , "You don't want me for your study. I'm not form around here". So the author ask him where he was from and the man tells him and the autor has to ask the man where that is and it turns out to be like ten miles down the road.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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