While writing this book, geneticist Steve Jones had beside him the coral brooch that his sea captain grandfather brought back across the Indian Ocean as a gift for his wife. This simple object is a starting point for a dazzling narrative that uncovers some of the unexpected truths that coral reveals about the earth's checkered past and its uncertain future. Jones's inspired, eclectic book links science with history, literature, politics, and myth as it considers humankind and our place in nature.
"He has an ability verging on the magical to compress into a sentence a discovery that took 20 scientists 20 years to make."—Sunday Telegraph (London)
"An acrobatic display of narrative powers.... It is surprising, exciting, and so much more interesting than the mechanical simplification that usually passes for popular science."—Independent (London)