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Carolyn Abraham explores the stunning power and ethical pitfalls of using genetic tests to answer questions of genealogy--by cracking the genome of her own family.
Recently, tens of thousands of people have been drawn to mail-order DNA tests to learn about their family roots. Abraham investigates whether this burgeoning new science can help solve 2 mysteries that have haunted her multi-racial family for more than a century. Both hinge on her enigmatic great-grandfathers--a hero who died young and a scoundrel who disappeared. Can the DNA they left behind reveal their stories from beyond the grave?
Armed with DNA kits, Abraham criss-crosses the globe, taking cells from relatives and strangers, a genetic journey that turns up far more than she bargained for--ugly truths and moral quandaries. With lively writing and a compelling personal narrative, The Juggler's Children tackles profound questions around the genetics of identity, race and humanity, and tells a big story about our small world, with vivid proof that genes bind us all to the branches of one family tree.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Juggler's Children
Average rating
3.4 / 5
Accessible and Interesting
November 7th, 2014
I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but this was an engaging investigation into one woman's family history. Abraham's writing style is compelling and the science is accessible. I learned a lot about genetics, but it wasn't dry. A very interesting look into globalization and colonization and how it affects a modern family.
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1 review
The juggler's children
August 31st, 2013
Detailed but confusing. Hard to separate which family grandfather the author was talking about. Possibly greater appeal to someone with a scientific background. Still insights on several occasions were interesting: Elizabeth Barrett Browning; the sub groups and categorizing of blacks in Jamaica; Kohanim group and their relation to the Brahims . There are others
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1 review
The Jugglers Children
May 17th, 2013
A stunning read. Rich in detail, easily read. A detective page turner...and true
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1 review

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