Few things are as essential to our lives-and as apparently unfathomable-as our memories. As Jane Austen's heroine Fanny Price remarks in "Mansfield Park," "if any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory . . . sometimes so retentive and so serviceable, so obedient-and at others so bewildered and so weak."
In Memory, David Samuel draws on a lifetime of scientific research to produce an informative and wide-ranging view of the subject. He examines how memory has been investigated in the past and what modern studies of brain structure and function can tell us about it. He then goes on to discuss long-term, short-term, and working memory, the limits to and normal loss of memory, the effects of alcohol, drugs and anxiety, Alzheimer's, and both deliberate and unintentional fraud in "tricks of memory."
While exploring the future of memory research, he also addresses the age-old questions of how to improve our memory and why certain people, such as diplomats, actors and doormen, have such good memories.
"Ambitious in scope, yet full of detailed and incisive criticisms of specific cases and theological principles, "Getting Over Equality" is an uncommon work of truly interdisciplinary scholarship. The provocative legal and theological theses make it a welcome addition to contemporary scholarship in both fields and a recommended text from any course that considers law and religion in the American context." -"The Journal of Religion", "Steve Smith is one of the most distinguished scholars now working in the field of religious liberty. His new book, Getting over Equality, makes it abundantly clear that Smith's perspective on religious liberty issues--and, indeed, on the whole field of religious liberty scholarship--is highly distinctive as well as very important. Not everyone will agree with everything that Smith argues in these essays. (I certainly don't.) But everyone who enters into conversation with Smith's essays will achieve thereby a deeper understanding of the complex issues that Smith so thoughtfully and gracefully addresses."-Michael J. Perry, University Distinguished Chair in Law, Wake Forest University, and author of "We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court" "Moving beyond stale arguments about the 'separation of church and state' and exposing the incoherence of doctrines of 'equality, ' Smith proposes a vibrant practice of tolerance and prudence that holds high promise for our continuing debate over the role of religion in the public square. His argument is lucid, forceful, sometimes eccentric, and refreshingly free of legalistic cant."-Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief, First Things, and author of "The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America"