Moonwalking with Einstein [Large Print]
The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
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|Format: ||Paperback, 473 pages, Large Print Edition|
|Published In: ||United States, 06 March 2012|
Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives. On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget: In every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories. Moonwalking with Einstein draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of memory, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human remembering. Under the tutelage of top "mental athletes," he learns ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by Medieval scholars to memorize entire books. Using methods that have been largely forgotten, Foer discovers that we can all dramatically improve our memories. Immersing himself obsessively in a quirky subculture of competitive memorizers, Foer learns to apply techniques that call on imagination as much as determination-showing that memorization can be anything but rote. From the PAO system, which converts numbers into lurid images, to the memory palace, in which memories are stored in the rooms of imaginary structures, Foer's experience shows that the World Memory Championships are less a test of memory than of perseverance and creativity. Foer takes his inquiry well beyond the arena of mental athletes-across the country and deep into his own mind. In San Diego, he meets an affable old man with one of the most severe case of amnesia on record, where he learns that memory is at once more elusive and more reliable than we might think. In Salt Lake City, he swaps secrets with a savant who claims to have memorized more than nine thousand books. At a high school in the South Bronx, he finds a history teacher using twenty- five-hundred-year-old memory techniques to give his students an edge in the state Regents exam. At a time when electronic devices have all but rendered our individual memories obsolete, Foer's bid to resurrect the forgotten art of remembering becomes an urgent quest. Moonwalking with Einstein brings Joshua Foer to the apex of the U.S. Memory Championship and readers to a profound appreciation of a gift we all possess but that too often slips our minds.
In 2005, science journalist Foer covered a bizarre annual contest called the U.S. Memory Championship, thinking it would be the Super Bowl of savants. But he soon discovered that the contestants were mere mortals who had trained themselves to remember by using ancient techniques that just about anyone can learn. Under the tutelage of Ed Cooke, a grand master of memory, Foer wound up entering the contest a year later-and winning. (He used a mnemonic, Moonwalking with Einstein, to help him memorize a shuffled deck of playing cards.) During the year of testing, training, and researching, Foer mastered the ages-old secret to remembering any piece of information fast-by building a "memory palace" to house associated images. Foer's book explores the how and why of human memory both as the focus of his own experiment and as a journalist, sharing what he learned from scientists, educators, and amnesiacs alike. His "unforgettable" story coaches readers that we too can do whatever we set our minds to and celebrates the untapped potential of the human computer in our age of external hard drives. Angelina Benedetti manages three libraries for Washington's King County Library System and is the voice of "35 Going On 13," Library Journal's online column for adult readers of books for teens. She is the recipient of the 2011 Allie Beth Martin Award for her contribution to public libraries. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Large Print Press|
21.34 x 13.97 x 2.29 centimeters (0.43 kg)|
15+ years |