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The Left-Hander Syndrome

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If you are among the 10 percent of people who happen to be left-handed, you've had to endure such derisive terms as " gauche" and " a left-handed compliment." At school you may have been forced to write with your right hand. And in another century your proclivity might have gotten you accused of witchcraft. Any left-handed person, or the spouse, parent, or friend of one, will be captivated by this essential and eye-opening book. With bracing wit and a flawless command of current research, psychologist Stanley Coren answers such questions as: Is left-handedness acquired genetically or socially? Are southpaws more creative than their right-handed fellows? Why do left-handers seem to die younger than right-handers? What can left-handers do to counteract the perils and prejudices that confront them in a world that leans to the right?
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About the Author

Stanley Coren is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Intelligence of Dogs; Gods, Ghosts and Black Dogs; and other bestsellers about dogs. He, his wife, and their two dogs live in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Coren received a good deal of media attention several years ago when he and a colleague published a paper claiming that left-handed people die at a considerably younger age, on average, than their right-handed counterparts. The current book explores the social consequences and biological causes of sinistrality in the process of explaining these findings, disproving some widely held myths along the way (e.g., most southpaws are not ``right-brained''; handedness is probably not inherited). The book is readable without oversimplifying the topic, and is highly recommended for public and academic libraries on the basis of its own merits, the interest it will generate, and the fact that it is the only serious and up-to-date treatment of the topic for the general reader.-- Mary Ann Hughes, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

"A rich account of the history, anthropology and neurobiology of handedness." -- Los Angeles Times " A rich account of the history, anthropology and neurobiology of handedness." -- Los Angeles Times

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