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March 1948

The Master Hand. A Study of the Origin and Meaning of Right and Left Sidedness and Its Relation to Personality and Language.

Arch NeurPsych. 1948;59(3):440-441. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1948.02300380169018

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This scholarly monograph records the work of ten years of a member of the faculty of New York University College of Medicine. It is one of the greater books that has appeared in the medical field within the lifetime of the reviewer. Putting it in another way, this book has a chance to live and to be pointed to by our successors as a landmark, which, when one thinks about it, is a distinction, whatever its merit, that may be awarded to few modern treatises of medicine. Whatever may be said of them, they are not built to endure.

The author, with his knowledge of art, history, philology and literature, to say nothing of medicine, has traced the development of ideas regarding preference for the use of the right or the left hand. His studies quite clearly demonstrate that theories of heredity and unalterable constitutional factors do not explain the

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