"We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets,but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating.Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongstAmericans, as well as the second-most visited online category. Thisbillion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites,and Internet communities, and a booming heritage tourism circuit.The tsunami of interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the AfricanAmerican community has been especially overwhelming. In The Social Lifeof DNA, Alondra Nelson takes us on an unprecedented journey into how thedouble helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgentcontemporary social issues around race.For over a decade, Nelson has deeply studied this phenomenon. Weavingtogether keenly observed interactions with root-seekersalongside historical details and revealing personalnarrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressingold and enduring issues. In The Social Life of DNA, she explains howthese cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways,including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to fosterreconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, torethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims forslavery reparations specifically based on ancestry.Nelson incisively shows that DNA is a portal to the past that yieldsinsight for the present and future, shining a light on social traumasand historical injustices that still resonate today. Science can be acrucial ally to activism to spur social change and transformtwenty-first-century racial politics. But Nelson warns her readers to bediscerning: for, the social repair we seek can't be found in even themost sophisticated science. Engrossing and highly original, The SocialLife of DNA is a must-read for anyone interested in race, science,history and how our reckoning with the past may help us to chart a morejust course for tomorrow."