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For most of his life, author A. J. Jacobs “figured humans were marching slowly but surely along a rational path. I figured we’d eventually shed primitive tribalism and join forces to try to solve the world’s big problems. Instead, we seem to be more tribal than ever.”

A few years ago, Jacobs found out about a group of scientists and researchers who were attempting to connect all of humanity in one family tree, the World Family Tree. Jacobs was so inspired by the idea that he hatched a plan to host a Global Family Reunion to assist their efforts.

In this intriguing, informative, and often hilarious account of his adventures (and misadventures) in order to attain his goal, Jacobs tells readers about his family’s Jewish history, visits he had with famous and ordinary “relatives,” and struggles he encountered with issues such as the conflicting viewpoints of genealogists, the danger of historical voyeurism, current sensitive privacy concerns, and the emotional trauma caused when DNA testing revealed unexpected, sometimes tragic, results.

Though some of Jacob’s views run counter to biblical values, It’s All Relative has much to offer readers about the historical and changing nature of views on the family and what that means for society today. (Simon & Schuster)

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