How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World
Argues that it is the human foot, not brain, that distinguishes humans from other animal species and examines the role of feet in science, medicine, and culture.
?An in-depth look at the anatomy and history of feet reveals their often overlooked importance in human evolution, medicine and art.” ?Science News
?Stylish, informative, entertaining, and pleasantly personal . . . Whether Rinzler is exploring how our feet explain or illuminate such topics as evolution, disability, racism, diet, or desire, she maintains a fascinating perspective on the peculiarities of being human.” ?Rain Taxi Review of Books
?This neat little book draws a clear picture of our feet, providing understanding that extends far beyond the obvious. Readers often like to walk away from a book feeling they learned something?that the author left them with a new way to look at an old idea, and this book fulfills that need.” ?City Book Review
?Rinzler lifts the lowly human foot to new heights in this appealing book.” ?Booklist (starred review)
Leonardo’s Foot stretches back to the fossil record and forward to recent discoveries in evolutionary science to demonstrate that it was our feet rather than our brains that first distinguished us from other species within the animal kingdom. Taking inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s statement that ?the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art,” Carol Ann Rinzler leads us on a fascinating stroll through science, medicine, and culture to shed light on the role our feet have played in the evolution of civilization.
Whether discussing the ideal human form in classical antiquity, the impressive depth of the arching soles on the figures in Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, an array of foot maladies and how they have affected luminaries from Lord Byron to Benjamin Franklin, or delving into the history of foot fetishism, Rinzler has created a wonderfully diverse catalog of details on our lowest extremities. This is popular science writing at its most entertaining?page after page of fascinating facts, based around the playful notion that appreciating this often overlooked part of our body is essential to understanding what it is to be human.
Carol Ann Rinzler, a former nutrition columnist for the New York Daily News, has contributed to a number of publications, including the New York Times. She is the author of more than twenty books on health and medicine, including Nutrition for Dummies, an international bestseller translated into fourteen languages.