A fresh, thought-provoking and wide-ranging study of how mankind uses its hands
Why do zombies walk with their arms outstretched? How can newborn babies grip an adult finger tightly enough to dangle unsupported from it? And why is everyone constantly texting, tapping and scrolling?
For anyone curious about how human beings work, the answers are hidden in plain sight: in our hands. From early tools to machinery -- from fists to knives to guns -- from papyrus to QWERTY to a swipeable screen -- the history of civilization is a history of what humans do with their hands. We have always kept our hands occupied, and if mankind's story is marked out by profound changes in how we use our hands, it is also marked by underlying patterns that never change. And as much as the things we do with our hands reflect our psychological state, they can also change that state profoundly...
Drawing examples from popular culture, art history, psychoanalysis, modern technology and clinical research, Darian Leader presents a unique and fascinating odyssey through the history of what human beings do with their hands - and why.
Publisher's description. Why do we play with our fingers when nervous? Why do zombies walk with their hands out? What connects prayer beads with iPhones? Journey down the psychoanalytic rabbit hole to discover the strange and fascinating secrets of what our hands really say about us...
A breezy cultural history of fidgeting
Leader is a psychoanalyst with a sideline in smart, elegant books that explain ourselves to ourselves without using the jargon of clinical literature
An intriguing meditation on how vital our hands are to our understanding of ourselves and our world