"Joshua Foer invents a new genre of nonfiction. This is a work of science journalism wrapped around an adventure story, a bildungsroman fused to a vivid investigation of human memory."--Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist
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 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," Foer learns ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by medieval scholars to memorize entire books. Foer learns to apply techniques that call on imagination as much as determination. His experience shows that the memory championships are less a test of memory than of perseverance and creativity. Moonwalking with Einstein brings listeners to a profound appreciation of a gift we all possess but that too often slips our minds.
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