Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Franz Angermeier
Up to the present day left-handers have to face considerable difficulties in our so-called Western Civilization. This can even be seen in a simple thing like shaking hands. It becomes clearer still from some verbal expressions such as “he is a leftist”, “a left-handed marriage” etc., originating from the veiled soul of the people. They convey that things connected with “the left” are considered inferior.
The book points out connections that go far beyond speculative conclusions drawn from purely scientific neuro-physiological and neuro-anatomic studies. It deals with real life. This means that not only some evident “causality” in one sector can serve as a means to explain the connections and differences between left-handedness and right-handedness. Approaching the subject in a holistic manner, which appreciates a person’s genetical predisposition, formative experiences made in earliest childhood, dynamic and static effects of other influences from the social environment, Dr. Sattler shows the great advantages of this approach for interpreting findings won from practical work. Also, the reader is made aware that in any human relations it is important to understand the differences in thought, speech and action resulting from handedness.
The book is interwoven with a fairy tale; or rather Aljosha, the main character, tells phantastic stories, bringing out a variety of inner dynamics that are active in human relations. The span is wide, comprising influences experienced in early childhood and interactions effective in friendship, in marriage and at work. Leaning on many years’ practical experience, Dr. Sattler knows how to present such connections and their interpretation in a brilliant and convincing manner, also to some people, who feel that such interpretations do not fit in their own hidebound theories.
Alternating between reality and fairy tale, i.e. Aljosha’s tales and actual case studies, the book affords the unbiased reader an insight into the problems that left-handers and right-handers have to tackle in life.
The book should not be expected to provide recipes for everybody to solve their problems by themselves. However, it can make readers understand such problems better, so that they may see their specific situation more clearly and seek help purposefully. Dr. Sattler considers handedness a characteristic that is similarly significant as a person’s sex. Handedness is like a basis from which to start out, which leaves room for the full scope of character formation with all its different traits. Therefore, handedness can thus not become a new typology of personality structure. Dr. Sattler regards handedness as a complement to personality interpretation, not as a new trend.
Handedness is a factor – but not the only factor – determining our mental attitude, our way of thinking and acting. This is the tenor of Dr. Sattler’s excellent book. The writer does not make the widespread mistake to try and explain everything by means of a system. This makes this book a very special one. Those who have studied the book thoroughly may differ in opinion about exactly how important a role handedness actually plays, however, its significance can no longer be denied. An excellent piece of work, not only with regard to its scientific value but, elucidating the problems connected with handedness, it can also be helpful in easing many personal and social conflicts.
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Franz Angermeier
Visiting Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL – USA
Adjunct Professor, The National University of Ireland, Galway
Professor emeritus, Cologne University
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Consulting and Information Center for Left-handers and Converted Left-handers
(Erste deutsche Beratungs- und Informationsstelle für Linkshänder und umgeschulte Linkshänder)
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