Before India is an easy-to-read guide to ancestry that focuses specifically on the Indian subcontinent. It illuminates how human origins and ancestry are best discovered through a combination of science and history. The book is not a dry study of genetics. It includes many appropriate pictures, maps, and charts to reinforce the text.
Mirroring a multifaceted subject matter, Before India is a well-researched amalgamation of genres—part genealogical guide, part ethnic history, part science exposé—that draws a holistic picture of ancestry by combining these varied insights. Exploring topics such as the cosmos, the origin of our planet and human evolution, migrations and invasions to the Indian subcontinent that brought many different foreign genes, as well as how DNA science is used to trace ancestry, the book provides both a robust explanation of genealogy and penetrating insight into India’s colorful tapestry of hundreds of unique ethnic groups.
The book includes the author’s research study of the DNA linked ancestral origins of fifty-two key ethnic communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and a few communities of Indian and Pakistani origin in Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
This book is a fascinating extrapolation of the scientific facts, historical background and the tales and myths that surround the origin of humans not only in India but other subcontinents as well. The simple narrative that even a layman can grasp adds to the enjoyment. The extensive research on various topics covered in the book speaks volumes of the author's dedication and hard work. It was interesting to note the scientific explanations provided on many historical myths and tales. Overall a good book with a wealth of information.
Bringing together cosmology, genealogy, evolution, history and the story of the human genome, David Mahal's exploration of humankind's sense of belonging provides an accessible guide to the latest thinking on human genetic heritage ... the pleasure lies in the author's adept synthesis of diverse disciplines and in the provocative questions raised, not least the eternal importance of "where we come from" and of where that question now stands in the face of the DNA revolution. As Mahal demonstrates, current science promises a wholesale, sometimes startling reassessment of our roots and ancestry. Though the book's ultimate topic is the ethnicity of the Indian subcontinent there is much to enjoy, and learn, for all those interested in discovering their deeper family origins.