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It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree (Hardcover)

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It’s All Relative          A.J. Jacobs


A.J. Jacobs is a fellow with no end of curiosity and a love of an all encompassing project.  He was ready for another undertaking when an unexpected email from a distant relative set him on a path to connect with his relatives scattered around the world and invite them to a record breaking reunion. Deciding on this new project was easy, the hard part would be learning how to research and find all the cousins.

It’s All Relative follows Jacobs over the course of a year as he learns about family research methods while also working out the logistics of setting up a reunion for what he hopes will be thousands. Overwhelmed is a word he uses frequently but he was determined to connect as many relatives as possible to the World Family Tree project.

Jacob’s light-hearted, self-deprecating style makes for an interesting non-technical overview of many of the current research techniques and debates within the genealogy world.   Whether you’re already doing family research or thinking about getting started this entertaining book highlights all the reasons why genealogy is so addictive!


— From Sharon's Picks


New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs undergoes a hilarious, heartfelt quest to understand what constitutes family--where it begins and how far it goes--and attempts to untangle the true meaning of the "Family of Humankind."

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database."

That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs's three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.

Jacobs's journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.

"Whether he's posing as a celebrity, outsourcing his chores, or adhering strictly to the Bible, we love reading about the wacky lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs" (Entertainment Weekly). Now Jacobs upends, in ways both meaningful and hilarious, our understanding of genetics and genealogy, tradition and tribalism, identity and connection. It's All Relative is a fascinating look at the bonds that connect us all.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781476734491
ISBN-10: 1476734496
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Pages: 352
Language: English