Hands What we do With them and Why
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. The history of civilization is a history of what humans do with their hands. From early tools to machinery, from fists to knives to guns, from papyrus to QWERTY to a swipeable screen, the hands have always been kept occupied. Why this incessant activity? Why can't we keep our hands still? And what might this reveal about our innermost selves? Mankind's story is marked out by profound changes in how we use our hands but also 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 profondly...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.
Darian Leader is a British psychoanalyst and the author of Introducing Lacan, Why do Women Write More Letters Than They Post?, Promises Lovers Make When It Gets Late, Freud's Footnotes, Stealing the Mona Lisa, Why do People Get Ill, co-written with David Corfield, The New Black, What Is Madness, and Strictly Bipolar. He practises psychoanalysis in London, and he is a member of the College of Psychoanalysts and a founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. His new book, Hands, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in July 2016.