The Guardian of All Things: The Epic Story of Human Memory

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, Aug 21, 2012 - Science - 304 pages
2 Reviews

A fascinating exploration of the history of memory and human civilization

Memory makes us human. No other animal carries in its brain so many memories of such complexity nor so regularly revisits those memories for happiness, safety, and the accomplishment of complex tasks. Human civilization continues because we are able to pass along memories from one person to another, from one generation to the next.
The Guardian of All Things is a sweeping scientific history that takes us on a 10,000-year-old journey replete with incredible ideas, inventions, and transformations. From cave drawings to oral histories to libraries to the internet, The Guardian of All Things is the history of how humans have relentlessly pursued new ways to preserve and manage memory, both within the human brain and as a series of inventions external to it. Michael S. Malone looks at the story of memory, both human and mechanical, and the historic turning points in that story that have not only changed our relationship to memory, but have also changed our human fabric. Full of anecdotes, history, and advances of civilization and technology, The Guardian of All Things is a lively, epic journey along a trajectory of history no other book has ever described, one that will appeal to the curious as well as the specialist.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dickmanikowski - LibraryThing

Far-ranging examination of the pivotal role that memory plays in human life. Malone explores the history, biology, and sociological aspects of human culture. Speech begat writing. Scrolls and books ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jennisis - LibraryThing

This book is a fascinating survey of the history of mankind's attempts to immortalize human knowledge. From the birth of communication to the advent of the Internet, Malone touches on all methods of ... Read full review


TheCaveof Illumination
Clay Reeds and Skin
Memory asMedium 4 The BloodyStatue
LongLeggedy Beasties
Theaters of Memory Memory asReference
Patterns in the Carpet
Tick Talk
Diamonds and Rust
The Persistenceof Memory Memory as Existence
Also by Michael S Malone

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

MICHAEL S. MALONE is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He is the current "Silicon Insider" columnist and editor-in-chief of the Silicon Valley new site, A former New York Times columnist, Malone has also contributed numerous articles and editorials to The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Fortune. He has also authored and co-authored more than a dozen books, notably the best-selling Virtual Corporation, Bill & Dave and The Future Arrived Yesterday. M alone holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, is an honorary fellow of the Said Business School at Oxford University, and is a Distinguished Friend of Oxford University.

Bibliographic information