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 athletes' 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.