A marvelous overview of one of the most essential aspects of what makes us human - our memory ... Witty and engaging (Dan Ariely)
Captivating ... Engaging ... Mr. Foer writes in these pages with fresh enthusiasm. His narrative is smart and funny and, like the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks, it's informed by a humanism that enables its author to place the mysteries of the brain within a larger philosophical and cultural context. (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)
Memory ... makes us who we are. Our memories, Foer tells us, are the seat of civilization, the bedrock of wisdom, the wellspring of creativity. His passionate and deeply engrossing book means to persuade us that we shouldn't surrender them to integrated circuits so easily. It is a resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind. ... though brain science is a wild frontier and the mechanics of memory little understood, our minds are capable of epic achievements. The more we challenge ourselves, the greater our capacity. It's a fact that every teacher, parent and student would do well to learn. The lesson is unforgettable. (Washington Post)
[An] endearingly geeky world...witty and revelatory...[The] journey certainly demonstrates how much memory matters...Apart from anything else, filling up our mental storehouses in the right way can make life feel longer. (Oliver Burkeman Guardian)
Riotous...[Foer] makes suspenseful an event [the World Memory Championships] animated mostly by the participants' "dramatic temple massaging". By book's end Foer can boast the ability to memorise the order of nine and one half decks of cards in an hour. Yet he still loses track of where he left his car keys, like the rest of us. (Alexandra Horowitz New York Times)
One year, Joshua Foer is covering the US Memory Championships as a freelance journalist, the next he returns as a competitor - and wins it...How he pulled off this extraordinary feat forms the spine of this crisply entertaining book. (Matt Rudd Sunday Times)
Combines erudite analysis, historical context, a mind-bending adventure and extremely suggestive sex - some of it involving Foer's grandmother. (Tony Allen-Mills Sunday Times)
A labyrinthine personal journey that explains how our author ended up in the finals of the US Memory Championship - a compelling story arc from sceptical journalist to dedicated participant. I can't remember when I last found a science book so intriguing. (David Profumo Literary Review)
[D]elightful...empathetic, thought-provoking and...memorable. (Elizabeth Pisani Prospect)
On average, people squander forty days annually trying to remember things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. He also discovered a truth we too often forget: In every way, we are the sum of our memories.
In Moonwalking with Einstein Foer draws on cutting-edge research, the cultural history of memory and the techniques of 'mental atheletes' to transform our understanding of human remembering. He learns the ancient methods used by Cicero and Medieval scholars. He meets amnesiacs, neuroscientists and savants - including a man who claims to have memorized more than nine thousand books. In doing so, he reveals the hidden impact of memory on our lives, and shows how we can all dramatically improve our memories.
At a time when electronic devices have all but rendered our individual memories obsolete, Foer's book is a quest to resurrect the gift we all possess, but that too often slips our minds.