Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors is a book about human prehistory by New York Times Science section reporter Nicholas Wade.
This book explores human history from the development of speech to agriculture and settlements. Its focus is mainly on genetic information.
I liked the book as it is full of lots of interesting information about human prehistory. As a science reporter, Nick Wade is also good at writing science stories and hence keeps it interesting and accessible for the layman.
If I have any issue with Before the Dawn, it is that it should be thought of more as a series of articles than a book with a continuous flow through the chapters. Also, at a few places, it felt like the author was describing some current research which might or might not pan out in the way it is described. However, that is always a trade-off in such a book, whether to focus on the state of the art (which might be rejected later on) or write only about widely accepted ideas (which reduces the appeal of the book).
Overall, it is a book worth reading if you are interested in discovering about humanity’s origins and development.