Dull and Boring
By Peter Watson
Harper, $31.99, 610 Pages
On bookshelves in libraries and in bookstores, you will find an entire section dedicated to examining human pre-history. Books about the world before the rise of great civilizations, about the times before writing was developed, and about the ways that people ended up in North America. This book attempts to do much the same by examining both the Old World and the New World in tandem – exploring how they evolved and changed and examining the similarities they shared. The first part of the book takes on the question: who were the first Americans, and how did they get here? Watson heavily relies on genetic information to show who the first people in the Americas were. He then takes a quick and unsatisfying look at myths, legends and archaeology. He moves into other areas that are generally covered in other books. His explanation of things such as agriculture and the rise of cities and civilizations leaves much to be desired.
The problem with this book is that Watson is not an academic, and he brings nothing new to the table. He just picked the experts he believes and rewrote what they said. The rest of his writing is dull and boring.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter