In this startlingly original and persuasive book, Raymond Tallis shows that it is easy to underestimate the influence of small things in determining what manner of creatures humans are. He reveals that over time the repeated and multiple effects of the seemingly insignificant can make an enormous difference and argues that the independent movement of the human index finger is one such easily overlooked factor. Indeed, not for nothing is the index finger called 'the forefinger'. It is the one we most naturally deploy when we want to winkle things out of small spaces, but it plays a far more significant role in an action unique to us among primates: pointing.

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