The Handshake: A Gripping History; Ella Al-Shamahi
- Unit Price
'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.
March 25, 2021
About the Author
Ella is a National Geographic Explorer, palaeoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist... and stand-up comic. She specialises in Neanderthals, caves and expeditions in hostile, disputed and unstable territories. She almost exclusively works in places it is hard to get insurance, such as Iraq, Yemen, Nagorno-Karabakh and places she can’t publicly admit to. From heading up exploratory expeditions to joining cave excavations, the conditions can be unusual, from avoiding landmines to wearing a burqa for security reasons.