A Left-Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing the Mystery and Meaning of All Things Southpaw

Overview

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, and observes chimps with a primatologist in Atlanta who may help unravel the evolutionary mystery of left-handedness. Along the way, Wolman meets fellow left-handers who share his sense of kinship and reveal the essence of Southpaw. There is sinister Diabolos Rex, follower of the ...

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Overview

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, and observes chimps with a primatologist in Atlanta who may help unravel the evolutionary mystery of left-handedness. Along the way, Wolman meets fellow left-handers who share his sense of kinship and reveal the essence of Southpaw. There is sinister Diabolos Rex, follower of the Left Hand Path; 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. A seamless blend of science, travel, culture, and humor, this inquisitive exploration of all things Southpaw is sure to be the perfect book for lefties and for all the righties who love them.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Nola Theiss
This book is based on the author's self-interest in the subject of left-handedness. As the only left-handed child in a family of six, the subject has intrigued him since he was a child. His research led to historical explanations and scientific research, especially Broca's discovery that the brain is divided into two halves and joined by a web of connections that cause the left brain to control the right side of the body and vice-versa. Wolman also looks at more modern research, which seems to imply that the difference is really between those who are strongly one side dominant and those who "mix it up," changing dominance with the task. He goes to Scotland to study a clan that is predominately left-handed to see if there are any advantages in war and also studies the impact of left-handedness in sports. He includes a chapter on how parents can best deal with left-handedness in children. While Wolman's research is well documented and the book has extensive notes, what makes it enjoyable as well as informative is his self-deprecating and somewhat flippant manner of explaining some pretty esoteric theories and his own obsession with the topic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306814150
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2005
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

David Wolman is a journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as Discover, Newsweek, New Scientist, Forbes, Outside, Wired, and the San Jose Mercury News. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2005

    Great Book...Perfect Present

    This book is excellent. I just bought 4 copies for left-handed friends and family, although you definitely don't have to be a lefty to appreciate it. The book includes all these wacky adventures about the author's search for what handedness really means. It's extremely entertaining. And then somehow in the meantime, there's all this fascinating science woven in. Like one study that predicted handedness in children based on which thumb each child sucked in utero! The book is really well-written and truly interesting to read. I really recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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