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Min europeiska familj: De senaste 54 000 åren

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,060 ratings  ·  125 reviews
The story of Europe and its peoples, told through its genetic legacy and woven together using the latest archaeological findings, will fascinate anyone interested in genealogy.

Karin Bojs grew up in a small, broken family, and at her mother's funeral she felt this more acutely than ever. As part of the healing process, she decided to use DNA research to learn more about
Hardcover, 485 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Albert Bonniers förlag (first published August 2015)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book about how modern DNA techniques contribute to anthropological and (pre-)historical research. DNA-research tells us that the European population is the result of three important migration waves:
a) a migration of hunters-gatherers (coming from Africa) as a result of the ice ages;
b) agriculture is not a result of a naturally occuring 'evolution' in several populations of hunters. Agriculture arose at one specific time in one specific area, viz. the surroundings of Syria. Once
Mikko Saari
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't know anything about using DNA to track the historical movement of people, goods and ideas, here's a good place to start. Karin Bojs is an experienced science journalist and writes well - her look into the development of what Europeans are and where they came from is both personal and universal.

The essence of it is clear: Europeans are all immigrants, in the end, a mixture of hunterer-gatherers who arrived first, the farmers who arrived later and the steppe nomads who were the last
Berit Lundqvist
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The deputy speaker of the Swedish Parliament, the Sweden Democrat Björn Söder, has for the second time started a debate about who is Swedish and who is not. According to himself, he of course is a pure breed, but Samis and Jews are not.

Well, dear Björn, Im sorry to inform you that none of us are pure breeds. Were all Africans, spiced up with a little Neanderthal.

The first Swedes were hunters, and they arrived from the European continent just after the last deglaciation, more than 10,000 years
Michael Bafford
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting. It seems that DNA research is answering questions deemed unanswerable not that long ago. It also raises at least as many new questions, but hey, that's science.

We are all descended from Mitochondrial Eve who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Before Eve people were not like us; were not "modern" humans, not homo-sapiens. I find it intriguing to wonder what triggered the mutation that gave Eve that slight advantage which, in the end, won out over every other
I won this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway!

Reading about Ms Bojs scientific journey as she traces her ancestry was very interesting and detailed, though sometimes I found myself a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information given (not boring at all, just a little above my head at times).

Overall, I am glad I read this book, and my interest in genealogy has peaked a bit.
B. Jean
When I first picked up this book, I had a different image in mind about what it would be about. Perhaps more anecdotal, or concerned only with her direct ancestors. Maybe it would be a lot of guesswork & stipulation.

I wasn't expecting her to be a science journalist who interviewed over 70 different researchers and was funded to write this by a leading Swedish journal. I also didn't expect to be given such a lovely introduction into DNA archaeology. I'd never made the connection between DNA
Victor Sonkin
A journalistic account about one person's quest to find out her roots  with many interesting details and diversions. Too bad that she has managed to speak with Pääbo but hasn't with David Reich. ...more
Judyta Szaciłło
I very much enjoyed this book even though I'm not really used to reading about science in a journalistic style. Journalists use many details that are supposed to make the narrative more lively - like what the weather was or what they were drinking when interviewing a person, or what's the latest gossip about work relationships between researchers going sour... I found it redundant and slightly annoying, but there's not too much of it in this book and it did not deter me from reading. The main ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the book fascinating how the author went on a search of her ancestry and traced it so far back by looking at her DNA. She takes on a trip of where her ancestors have been by travelling to a number of European countries and interviewing a number of researchers. What is interesting is how she explained what life must have been like for the people at that time, what people ate, how they lived. Through DNA research it shows that there were three major waves of migration - during the ice age, ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book about the authors research into European anthropology and genetic history. Though motivated by a personal interest, Karin Bojs discusses modern technique, recent theories and research into the 54,000 years of Europeans. Well written and accessible to a non-specialist. ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave up at about 1/3 of the way through. Even though the science is very interesting and a favorite topic of mine, the translation isn't very good and makes for poor reading. I was reading it as a e-book. May pick it back up in print to see if that helps.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book about how today's developing DNA techniques contribute to understanding our common humanness! I definitely will read a second (maybe third!) time.

Bojs explained that the European continent experienced three homo sapien migration waves:
1st the hunters-gatherers OOA (out of Africa) as a result of the ice ages. They met up with Neandrathals in their middle east trek.
2nd around 6000BC, the farmers and their agriculture migrated to Europe. DNA now shows that farming was not a result
Piet Boels
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book but only for a subset of the subjects it set out to address in the first place. Bojs, as a long-time and competent science-correspondent of the Swedish broadsheet Dagens Nyheter, an independent, middle of the road, quality newspaper owned by the Bonnier family, appears at times to be a wide-eyed Alice in the wonderland of DNA-archaeology while at other times she adopts a much more endearing and appropriate role of hard-nosed sleuth. In its overall structure, the book is a diary ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed learning about the techniques a lot, and see what we can find out about ourselves these days and the language is good. Unfortunately, the book focused a little too much on Bojs herself (a bit I expected since you have to have a reference point, but not for it to dominate like it did). Moreover, she tended to accept some scientific research, and discard other just like that, so how am I supposed to know what to believe? Too much subjectivity, coupled with the fact that more ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learned some new information. Good read but little heavy on the authors own genealogy.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Did not finish the book, to much facts and numbers.
Kathy DiDomizio
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a deep interest in genealogy and a strong European heritage myself, so I found this an intriguing read!
This was interesting, but not enough to keep me going. I read about half.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karin Bojs has an impressive overview and draws from many intervies and travels around Europe, when written this compact presentation of 'current' research on human migration to and around in Europe. By viewing the history of Europe from her own family tree the story becomes relevant and interesting and gives some ties to the broad list of research that Karin Bojs are presenting. The book covers slightly too many topics, and at times it seems like Karin Bojs should have done a more substantial ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book covers the archaeology behind early humanity's migrations into Europe and the rest of the Eurasian continent, but mainly concentrates on the expansion of DNA testing as a tool to help answer questions such as "did agriculture begin at several locations concurrently or did it begin in one location and spread from there?"

Karin's focus is primarily on Sweden and her own family line, but that shouldn't be a limiting factor to reading the book. If a general understanding of the science
Mårten Thorslund
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book in Swedish by a leading science author and editor of the leading newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) in this book takes the reader on a intrigueing and easily-understood journey, providing essential understanding of our origin (Europeans, before and beyond) and common background (Africa, then Europe + Indo-european migration into Europe with some emphasize on Sweden, over millenia) . The book is a page-turning way to understand our very being, DNA, and culture based on state-of the art science ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of the mix-match origins of the European population is quite fascinating. Bojs tells it well. The focus on her own origins and that of the Swedes, makes it for an outsider -I'm Dutch and as far as I know not part of her haplogroup - a bit particular. Still interesting though, it was a good read.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambitious. Sprawling. Interesting.

This is an unusual and fascinating read. Some points lost for the bizarre comment or two, such as the suggestion that a neolithic woman would care about her hair. But it is interesting to trace a family from the modern era back as far as it can go in terms of homo sapiens.
Martin Eidhammer
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
It was my interest in genealogy that made me read this book. It is a very interesting approach to the topic, where the Author follows her DNA as far back as it goes and line out the migration routes her ancestors took to end up in Sweden. Being a Norwegian the material Bojs presents is very relevant for my background too.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book about DNA research and genealogy. I have been working on my genealogy for some years now and this book adds a whole new dimension to the search. Bojs is a good author who makes this theme personal by mixing her personal journey with scientific research. Learned a lot!
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, yet not much new information

The author is telling her family generic history in relation to big migrations in Europe. Lots of facts can be found in other books, so it is not very original. But it is well written.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I didn't finish this because it was due back at the library, but I really loved what I read. She talks science and it reads like a novel. I'm fascinated by what we know and are learning about DNA, and this is a great book to start learning more about our human migration and ancestry patterns.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book which traces the migrations of the human race from Africa to the farthest corners of the European continent. DNA sequencing has transformed our understanding of the origins of our world. Fascinating. I will read more on this topic.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was fascinating. It explored the connection between the Swedish author and her (general) genetic past, starting with 54,000 years ago. Along the way, she describes the first farming communities in Europe, the first domestic dogs, etc. It is understandably scientific at times.
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Karin Bojs is an author and science journalist. She was head of the science desk at Dagens Nyheter, the leading daily newspaper in Sweden, for nearly two decades. Karin has an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University, and has received several awards, including the 2015 Swedish August Prize for My European Family.

Karin lives in Stockholm on top of a hill with a view over Lake Mälaren. She

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“Martin Street is the archaeologist who has done most work in recent years on the dog from Bonn-Oberkassel. His theory is that what is known as ‘putting the game at bay’ was one of the first important tasks performed by dogs. This is a method of hunting still used today in many places, including the forests of Sweden. The dog runs around in the woods on its own to track game, while the hunter tries to stay near it. Once the dog locates its quarry, it starts to bark, forcing the animal to stop moving and focus on the dog’s irritating barking. The dog has put its quarry at bay. In the meantime, the hunter creeps nearer and shoots the animal. This type of hunting emerged when woods started to grow on the tundra, blocking the view. Before that time it was easier for hunters to scan the landscape for their prey from an elevated point. This is what makes it so interesting that the first dog universally recognised as such, the one from Bonn-Oberkassel, lived 14,500 years ago, at precisely the time when the tundra of the Ice Age was beginning to give way to woodland. That circumstance, in my view, is rather too striking to be a mere coincidence. If” 0 likes
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