The Handshake


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This quirky and engaging history reveals the secrets of one of our most ancient social gestures

About the Author

Ella Al-Shamahi is a National Geographic Explorer, palaeoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist and stand-up comic. Specialising in in Neanderthals, caves and expeditions in hostile, disputed and unstable territories, she is also a TV presenter, a TED speaker and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has degrees in Genetics, Taxonomy and Biodiversity, and is currently undertaking her PhD in Palaeoanthropology.


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 *
It's a little book of wonder, it's fantastic -- Chris Evans
A fabulously sparky, wide-ranging and horizon-broadening little study ... joyously unboring * Sunday Times *
Having not particularly missed shaking hands over the past year, I ended this very engaging little book so desperate to get started again that I'm in danger of becoming a super-spreader. * Telegraph *
[Ella Al-Shamahi] makes a convincing argument that in the not-so-distant future we will once again be clasping the clammy, germ-ridden paws of near-strangers. I can't wait. * Daily Mail *
Brisk, quirky and good-humoured * The Business Post *

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