Donovan Webster brings his vivid journalistic gifts to a new subject, tracing our deep genealogy using cutting-edge DNA research to map our eons-old journey from prehistoric Africa into the modern world. With the same genetic haplotype as many white American males, Webster makes an ideal subject he is a genuine Everyman. While his voice and spirit are unique to him, in exploring his own ancestry, he shows us our own.
Drawing on National Geographic's Genographic Project, the largest anthropologic DNA study of its kind, Webster traces centuries of migrations, everywhere finding members of his now far-flung genetic family. In Tanzania's Rift Valley, he hunts with Julius, whose tribe speaks a click language, and wanders the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia with Mohamed and Khalid, now Jordanian citizens. In Samarkand, Uzbekistan, eastern frontier of his ancestral roaming, a circus ringmaster becomes both friend and link to his primal bloodline.
Webster's genographic quest leads him to contemplate what traits he shares with those he meets, and considers what they and their ways of life reveal about the deep history of our species. A lifetime of journalistic travels among a wide range of cultures furnish Webster with a wealth of colorful threads to weave into a story as particularly personal as it is universally human.
About the Author
Bil Donovan is a fashion illustrator whose work has appeared in various publications and advertising campaigns worldwide. His many clients include Neiman Marcus, Estee Lauder, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and Mercedes-Benz. He is the author of Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration. He resides in New York City.
Spencer Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the director of the Genographic Project. After studying under genetic pioneer Luigi Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University, he began an unusual career that mixes science, writing, and filmmaking. His acclaimed first book, "The Journey of Man," combined his own DNA research with the work of archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, paleoclimatologists, and linguists to show how modern humans came to populate the planet.