Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Left-Handed History of the World: An Exploration of World-Changing Mental Agility, Intellectual Superiority and the Power of Surprise. Ed Wright” as Want to Read:
A Left-Handed History of the World: An Exploration of World-Changing Mental Agility, Intellectual Superiority and the Power of Surprise. Ed Wright
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Left-Handed History of the World: An Exploration of World-Changing Mental Agility, Intellectual Superiority and the Power of Surprise. Ed Wright

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A celebration of left-handedness, giving recognition to the enormous contribution left-handers have made to society, this title presents enlightening and entertaining accounts that reveal the creative genius behind the greatest lefties in history.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 15th 2007 by Pier 9 (first published 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Left-Handed History of the World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Left-Handed History of the World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 266)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James Grainger
The majority of this book offered some interesting and valuable information. Unfortunately, I think that the analysis of the qualities of left-handed people was hilariously ridiculous. I would, however, recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history, as long as they ignore the comments on the people's "left-handed qualities."
I also love the irony that the author's name is Wright.
This was an interesting read, from the short biographies, to the left-handed tendencies. The persecution is a particularly interesting aspect of left-handedness, especially to those of us who have lived it. Many positives come through adversity, and this book is a celebration of that fact.
As a lefty, I found the propaganda in "A Left-Handed History of the World" very interesting, and the diverse range of historical snippets were often good. Obviously, I found some (Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Babe Ruth) more interesting than others (Joan of Arc, Frederich Nietsche, Jimi Hendrix). However, I admit that the "lefty explanations" of why they accomplished what they did is a stretch. While being left-handed probably did influence these individuals personalities, that isn't trul ...more
According to this, being left-handed, I should be brilliant, good at the concrete (no, I'm a grad student in english) and slightly wonky mentally (well, got THAT right). It's entertaining but should not be taken too seriously I think. A lot of the argument "iconoclastic etc" seems silly. The analysis of Nietszche is a bit lame -- why did Ed Wright write this again (because he's left handed? is he?). I would expect someone with a phd in american literature to be more sophisticated th... (show mor ...more
Scott Schang
Definitely an interesting perspective on lefty traits. I think much of my connection to historical figures in this book is much like the irony you find in a well written fortune cookie, sometimes you reach a little to make it more relevant. As a lefty, I feel a little more comfort in the fact that I'm predisposed to mental illness. That's a relief, I thought for a minute there I was just going crazy.
Jan 24, 2009 Kalliste rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fellow left handers
This book somewhat fueled my ego. Telling me all the wondrous things about left handers and how the world is against us!
Altough, it did seem like a kind of sulk in places like how we can't use right handed scissors and everything is right oriented and etc. etc. That I didn't like so much.
I did like the link behind how the brain works with the leftness (or rightness) of the body and how that makes us lefties geniuses (heh, kidding... kinda) but it didn't really go into any of the bad stuff... it
Quite entertaining, especially if you are a lefty! The author analyses the lives and decisions of left-handers through history, emphasizing the differences in intuition, visual-spatial ability, lateral thinking, and iconoclasm between them and the dominant right-handedness of culture through time.
The list of lefties studied is staggering - Alexander, Caesar, Michelangelo, Newton, Raphael, Da Vinci, Bonaparte, Beethoven, Twain, Ford, Curie, Gandhi, Chaplin, Ruth, Turing, Hendrix, Gates, Clinton,
This is a mildly entertaining series of potted histories of famous left-handers, or alleged lefthanders, beginning with Leonardo and Michelangelo, and going all the way up to Jimi Hendrix and Paul McCartney. The problem is that after several of the brief biographies, the stories all begin to sound alike. Lefties are tempestuous, contrary, and creative. They think laterally, where the rest of the world thinks, you know, inside the box. Cliches abound and I was in serious danger of believing that ...more
The "science" and analysis was seriously lacking, but it was a fun read anyway. Cool to get a brief biography of impressive lefties from history.
Really fascinating! So compelling recognizing the similarities of lefties, including our propensity for vegeterianism (and mental illness) to list a few. Following it's persecution over the centuries makes me realize how fortunate I am that I was never "tied down" and forced to write right-handed like my Mother or other family members. There have been some remarkable, extraordinary lefties in the world!
Kin Guan
This book should be placed on History shelf, not Psychology. It talks about many left-handed people in history and their common points, such as hot-tempered, excellent talent in mathematics, eccentric personality. This is a nice theme, but unfortunately the psychology aspect of being left-handed is a bit lacking in my humble opinion. Still, it is a good collection of short biographies :)
Very interesting book about influential individuals throughout history, that also happened to be left handed! Great book if you are left handed, because it gives a load of information about left handed tendencies, and you might find many similarities. Even if you are not left handed, this book is a really good read, and features beautiful photos. A great read.
Of course I had to check this out, as I'm left handed. I spent a lovely weekend browsing this series of short biographies of famous Lefties. Interesting that we have an advantage in baseball and tennis and are more adaptable. Also interesting that we are more likely to have mental illnesses.

A fun read as long as you don't take it too seriously.
I usually don't read books like this,so when I got it for Christmas a while ago I didn't think I would read it. When I finally started looking through it I was surprised by how many amazing people I share this specific trait with. Some of the analysis about lefty characteristics are a bit out there but it was still a pretty interesting read.
This book is fascinating but it can get a bit dry if you read it for a while. It is also thick and heavy so it's one of those books you would take to the beach! There are little "chapters" about 3-5 pages about someone famous in history (starting with Ramses the Great). I generally read 1 "chapter" and after that it starts getting tedious.
LEFTIES UNITE! This is the book for me. :) There were some very interesting facts and stories about many "greats" from history. I enjoyed the different traits that lefties could have: empathetic, hot-tempered, fantasist, etc. (apparently, I have some of these traits too). This was a fun read!
Eh. It's basically a brief introduction to famous lefties. Mozart. Beethoven. Queen Victoria. Chaplin. Napoleon. Ramses II. Nothing spectacular. Fun, Easy read.
Annie Oortman
Hey, left-handers! Looking for in-depth insight into why we're incredible people? This is the book for you. An absolutely incredible view of life from the other side.
ok book, found it repetative at times, but did like the comparisons on other famous lefties.
Not the greatest writer (bizarre sentences), but the subject matter is interesting on its own.
Jose Luis
Great book for killing time, as a lefty I found the book entertaining.
Jan 01, 2011 Amber is currently reading it
Finally a book that truly tells it like it is.
Vicki added it
Jun 29, 2015
Melissa marked it as to-read
May 31, 2015
Danielle marked it as to-read
May 17, 2015
Preston Carter
Preston Carter marked it as to-read
May 10, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts
  • Secrets of Angels & Demons
  • Serial Killers
  • Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach [With Dvdrom]
  • Altered Curiosities: Assemblage Techniques & Projects
  • Divine Proportion: Phi In Art, Nature, and Science
  • Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance
  • Myths of the Greeks and Romans
  • Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci
  • Mythology
  • The Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves
  • Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
  • Signs and Symbols
  • An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices
  • Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner's Guide
  • 1000 Places to See Before You Die Traveler's Journal (Travel Journal)
  • The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy
  • Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction
History's Greatest Scandals: Shocking Stories of Powerful People Lost Explorers: Adventurers Who Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth Ghost Colonies (Lost and Found in History) A Left-Handed History of the World Fame & Infamy

Share This Book