Right Hand, Left Hand

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781780226712

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 25th July 2013

Genre: Mathematics & Science

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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

‘Fascinating’ New Scientist

‘Wonderful’ Nature

– What is the connection between Paul McCartney, Leonardo Da Vinci and Babe Ruth?
– Why are parrots and peacocks left-footed?
Do left-handers behave differently from right-handers?
– Why are most people right-handed?
– Why are all muppets left-handed?
– Why is the heart on the left-hand side of the body?
– Why is each side of the human brain so different?

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.


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
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
An excellent mix of hard science and engaging games and tricks, and a treasury of anecdotes
Margaret Drabble