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Right Hand, Left Hand

Right Hand, Left Hand

Winner of the Aventis Science Book Prize. ‘A scientific detective story, a brilliant cross between Edgar Allan Poe and Gray’s anatomy’ J G Ballard, New Stateman Books of the Year

– Why are most people right-handed? Do left-handers behave differently from right-handers?
– Why is the heart on the left-hand side of the body?
– Why is each side of the human brain so different?
– Why do the British drive on the left? Why do European languages go from left to right, while Arabic ones read the other way?
– Why do clocks go clockwise?
– What is the relationship between handedness and speech disorders, such as stuttering?

RIGHT HAND, LEFT HAND uses sources as diverse as the paintings of Rembrandt and the sculpture of Michelangelo, the behaviour of Canadian cichlid fish and the story of early cartography. Modern cognitive science, the history of the Wimbledon tennis championship and the biographies of great musicians are also used to explain the vast repertoire of ‘left-right’ symbolism that permeates our everyday lives.
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Genre: Mathematics & Science

On Sale: 25th July 2013

Price: £9.99

ISBN-13: 9781780226712


A fascinating and immensely readable exploration of the whole topic
A scientific detective story, a brilliant cross between Edgar Allan Poe and Gray's anatomy
Limpidly written, dryly witty and extraordinarily wide-reaching, this is surely the most inclusive and erudite popular account of asymmetry yet produced
Robert Macfarlane, SPECTATOR
A fascinating study of the origins of asymmetry in life, culture and myth
Spanning disciplines from genetics to folklore, McManus's account of 'handedness' must be one of the most intellectually capricious science books this year
Wonderful book...He has done a marvellous job of summarising and integrating a wide range of findings from various disciplines addressing questions on the nature of right and left
William D Hopkins, NATURE