The Guardian of All Things

The Epic Story of Human Memory

Michael S. Malone

St. Martin's Griffin

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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.

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Book Excerpts

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1
Finding a Voice
Memory as Word
 
 
When did hominids become human?
When we used our memories to do more than remember.
When did that occur? That’s not any easy question to answer—certainly not as easy as it might seem from those charts of the “Ascent of Man” we first encountered as children and have seen parodied ever since.
There, the answer was obvious: in the long parade from the knuckle-dragging Ardipithecus ramidus to the upright Australopithecus to Homo habilis carrying his stone scraper, to Homo erectus with his flint knife.

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Reviews

Praise for The Guardian of All Things

“Health care costs continue to escalate, and every day the news brings us new or conflicting research about cancer treatments, if salt is actually good for you, how much fat is healthy, what role do your genes play in your health. Readers are looking for ways to take control of their health. They are turning increasingly to mindfulness and food as medicine. In the area of nutrition and diet as ways of managing health, for example, Tana Amen (The Omni Diet) writes extensively on how to reverse illness and influence gene expression with the food you eat.” --Marc Andreessen, Web pioneer and venture capitalist

“Ingenious, richly complex account of how humans exchange, record, preserve and manipulate information . . . An original, fascinating scientific history of how human memory and a series of inventions have driven the advance of civilization.” --Kirkus, starred review

“Premier technology writer Malone transforms our understanding of memory, human and artificial. After a vivid account of the evolution of the brain, he charts the developments that enabled our ancestors to acquire language, the first step in sharing memories and knowledge. With informed pleasure in the ingenuity involved, Malone deepens our appreciation for the development of increasingly sophisticated forms of memory preservation, organization, and communication while delving into the personalities and lives of both celebrated and forgotten technical visionaries." --Booklist, starred review 

“In this sweeping and ambitious story . . . Malone celebrates the power of memory and the freedom it provides us while at the same time cautioning us to guard our memories and protect the record of our time in the world.” --Publisher’s Weekly

“In his evocative book, technology writer Michael Malone traces that history from the brain’s evolution and the development of speech and writing to advances in recording, the rise of technology and the shifts in ownership of memory from the tribal elect to the masses … the book is packed with gems.” --Nature


In the Press

THE GUARDIAN OF ALL THINGS by Michael S. Malone | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of THE GUARDIAN OF ALL THINGS The Epic Story of Human Memory. Every living organism possesses a memory, however primitive, but Homo sapiens carried it to a dazzling level, writes technology journalist Malone (<em>The Future Arrived Yesterday: The Rise of the Protean Corporation and What It Means for You<em>, 2009, etc.) in this ingenious, richly complex account of how humans exchange, record, preserve and manipulate information.
- Kirkus Reviews

Nonfiction Review: The Guardian of All Things: The Epic Story of Human Memory by Michael S. Malone. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-62031-8
“[T]he story of memory... is the story of freedom,” writes ABCNews.com technology writer Malone (The Future Arrived Yesterday) in this sweeping and ambitious story. He traces the spread of memory and
- Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Michael S. Malone

MICHAEL S. MALONE is one of the nation’s best-known technology writers, his writing synonymous with the story of Silicon Valley. Malone spent nearly a decade as ABCNews.com’s “Silicon Insider” columnist, and prior to that was a New York Times columnist and the host or producer of four public television series. Malone has also contributed numerous articles and editorials to The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Fortune, and was the editor of Forbes ASAP magazine. He has also authored and co-authored more than a dozen books, including such influential works as The Virtual Corporation, Bill & Dave, and The Future Arrived Yesterday. Malone 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. He is currently the co-founder of a new high-tech venture and an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University.

Michael S. Malone

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Michael S. Malone

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Guardian of All Things
The Epic Story of Human Memory
Michael S. Malone

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
December 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250023230
ISBN10: 1250023238
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages, 1 black-and-white illustration/Notes/Index
$15.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
August 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312620318
ISBN10: 0312620314
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 304 pages, Includes 25 b&w photos throughout
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
August 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250014924
ISBN10: 1250014921
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 304 pages, Includes 25 b&w photos throughout
$9.99
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