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A Left Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing…

A Left Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing the Mystery and Meaning of All…

by David Wolman

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The number of words used to describe left-handedness that have negative connotations are rife. This is the story of one lefties trip to try to find out the why of left-handedness and if humans are unique.

His conclusion? That the scientists are still kinda stumped and unsure what's the reasoning but that some of them are arguing that handedness is a spectrum rather than a fixed thing.

For a leftie it's interesting, for everyone it has something to say. Assumption is interesting and it's also a situation that until people stop trying to force people to use particular hands for tasks we will not really understand it properly. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 3, 2009 |
everything you wanted to know about handedness (left AND right)...and then some
  bstander | Jul 15, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0306814153, Hardcover)

Far more detailed than a typical collection of left-handed trivia, David Wolman's Left-Hand Turn Around The World examines 200 years of anatomy in a search for the roots of hand preference. The results are surprising, and perhaps a bit disappointing to anyone who prefers believing "left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds".

Wolman travels the world for answers, from a mildly gruesome visit to Broca's bottled brains in a Paris museum to the latest Berkeley research labs. Throughout the journey, the science is as accessible as any animal documentary and as well-documented as any rigorous reader will demand. Included in the mix are a trip to a graphologist's convention and a visit with a gentleman whose handedness is the result of surgically combining his left hand with his right arm. Wolman's Fulbright fellowship-winning reporting is always clear and entertaining—he has a fine knack for presenting complex theories in direct, dryly amusing language. He frequently inserts himself into the research, in one case borrowing his nephew for a visit with a pediatric neuropsychologist.

With the most recent research offering the theory that strength of hand preference is more important than the actual hand preferred, the final conclusion could be an eye opener to those who prefer the old ideas that lefties are more creative, athletic, artistic and generally more wonderful. As Wolman says in conclusion, you can still says lefties are special, because they are. Jill Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Are Southpaws really more creative, or is that just a myth? Is there a gene for left-handedness? David Wolman - a lefty, and proud of it - sets out to answer these and other questions on a journey through the world of the left-hander. Traveling from the halls of history to the halls of science, Wolman explores a Scottish castle designed for left-handed swordfights, visits a Paris museum to inspect nineteenth-century brains that hold clues to this biological puzzle, consults an Indian palm reader, subjects his own brain to research in a basement laboratory in California, and sits with a primatologist in Atlanta whose chimpanzees may hold the key to the evolutionary mystery of left-handedness." "Along the way, Wolman meets fellow left-handers who share his sense of kinship and help him uncover the essence of Southpaw. There is sinister Diabolos Rex, follower of the Left Hand Path; left-handed handwriting analysts; and John Evans, an amputee whose left hand was reattached to his right arm. In Japan, Wolman tees off with the National Association of Left-Handed Golfers and seeks wisdom from a left-handed baseball legend and a world renowned biologist."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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