> Skip to content
  • Published: 2 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241973998
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

Hands

What We Do With Them - And Why




Human history, modern life and our psychology - all told through the story of how we use our hands

A fresh, thought-provoking and wide-ranging study of how mankind uses its hands - from infancy to adulthood, for communication and comprehension, to wield tools that create and weapons that destroy...
The history of civilization is a history of what humans do with their hands. Inventing tools, writing records, operating machinery, learning to type, to text, to swipe: mankind's progress to modern society has been a steady evolution of how we use our hands.
Why do we play with our fingers when nervous? What causes us to doodle while concentrating? Why are the motions of cooking soothing and the motions of online gaming addictive? And what happens when we are prevented from using our hands altogether?
Drawing examples from popular culture, art history, technology and clinical research, Darian Leader explores how the things we do with our hands reflect our psychological state - and can also change that state profoundly.
%%%A fresh, thought-provoking and wide-ranging study of how mankind uses its hands
The history of civilization is a history of what humans do with their hands. Inventing tools, writing records, operating machinery, learning to type, to text, to swipe: mankind's story is marked out by profound changes in how we use our hands - but also by a set of underlying patterns that never change.
Why do we play with our fingers when nervous? What causes us to doodle while concentrating? Is there a subconscious connection between hand motions that are soothing and therapeutic and those that are compulsive, involuntary, even violent? And what happens when we are prevented from using our hands altogether?
Drawing examples from popular culture, art history, technology and clinical research, Darian Leader explores how the things we do with our hands reflect our psychological state - and can also change that state profoundly.
%%%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.
%%%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

  • Published: 2 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241973998
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the author

Darian Leader

Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst practising in London and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research.

Also by Darian Leader

See all

Related titles