Daniel Trilling at The Guardian:
Perhaps the most groundbreaking discoveries of recent years have been in genetic history. It has already been several decades since the study of DNA revealed how little substance there was to claims of racial difference. Study of genetic material found in ancient bones also suggests that, rather than a single migration out of Africa, humans populated the globe in waves that intermingled, coming back as well as going forwards. “We weren’t migrants once in the distant past and then again in the most recent era,” Shah writes. “We’ve been migrants all along.”
That general truth might not be enough to defuse conflicts over migration by itself. But Shah’s tone is neither smug nor triumphalist. She is clear about the power and the danger of xenophobic politics, tracing the anti-refugee backlash that has been mobilised by the right, as well as the threat to our lives posed by the climate emergency. Hers is an optimistic book nonetheless, because it tells us that this is just the latest chapter in a long story of survival and adaptation.