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The Handshake: A Gripping History - Ella Al-Shamahi

9781788167802

'It's a little book of wonder, it's fantastic' Chris Evans 'Al-Shamahi's beguiling book has a more general claim to attention than merely being an account of the crisis in manners that Covid has made ... cheerful, witty and well-researched' Stephen Bayley, Spectator Friends do it, strangers do it and so do chimpanzees - and it's not just deeply embedded in our history and culture, it may even be written in our DNA. The humble handshake, it turns out, has a rich and surprising history. So let's join palaeoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi as she embarks on a funny and fascinating voyage of discovery - from the handshake's origins (at least seven million years ago) all the way to its sudden disappearance in March 2020. Drawing on new research, anthropological insights and first-hand experience, she'll reveal how this most friendly of gestures has played a role in everything from meetings with uncontacted tribes to political assassinations - and what it tells us about the enduring power of human contact. Because the story of the handshake ... is far from over.

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