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Remembering Our Childhood: How Memory Betrays Us Hardcover – 22 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (22 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199218404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199218400
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 2.5 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,165,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Karl Sabbagh was born in the UK and educated at King's College, Cambridge, before joining the BBC as a documentary producer and director. During a television career spanning thirty years he made a range of factual programmes for British television channels, as well as for the Public Broadcasting Service in the USA. Some of his TV series were also the subjects of books, including 'Skyscraper', '21st Century Jet', 'Magic or Medicine?' (with Rob Buckman) and 'Power into Art.' In 2000 he turned to full-time book writing and has covered topics such as scientific fraud, mathematics and psychology. He is the son of a Palestinian father and has written two books on Palestine: 'Palestine: A Personal History', and 'Britain in Palestine.'

Product Description


Lively investigation. (Andrew Robinson, Lancet)

Never less than fascinating. (William Leith, Financial Times)

A terrific book. Sabbagh's journey into childhood memory shows keen insight into how it works and what it means. He offers a masterfully original and beautifully written perspective on one of the most fundamental aspects of the human mind. (Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine)

About the Author

Karl Sabbagh was educated at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied experimental psychology. He then spent many years as a documentary television producer for broadcasters in the U.K. and the U.S. before becoming a full-time writer. He has written ten books, including Your Case is Hopeless (2007); Palestine: A Personal History (2006); Dr Riemann's Zeros (2004); A Rum Affair (2002 - nominated in 2002 for Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize); and Power into Art (2000). He regularly writes articles for the media including The Sunday Times, Prospect, The Guardian, New Scientist, Scientific American, British Medical Journal, and The Washington Post.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cholly McMurphy on 2 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am amazed that I am the first to review this long overdue book since it covers such an important and controversial area - that of human memory. Our memories inform our conduct, in the present and in the future, and it is important that we understand at least some of the basic characteristics of the memorial processes. The evils perpetrated by books like `The Courage to Heal' and their like are not so informed and thus are capable of doing great damage to the gullible. Karl Sabbagh gives us a balanced and comprehensive glimpse of the scientific studies that have been conducted by `proper' (scientifically respectable) experimenters, the results of which have implications for eye witness testimony and - most importantly - for psycho-dynamically informed psychotherapy. The damage that Freudian concepts like `repression' have done to generations brought up on the pseudo-science of psychoanalysis doesn't bear thinking about - from Hollywood movies to Agony Aunts steeped in psychobabble, to the barely sentient `touchy-feely' psychotherapist. Anyone who is seeking some kind of explanation of their current behaviour or difficulties in relationships via a `therapist' should read this book before they engage in such a `reconstructive' exercise.

Also - very pleasant to see Frederick Bartlett - a large and influential figure in the history of British Psychology - given due recognition. His Cambridge Cockpit Experiments are still, in my view, classics of innovative brilliance in the study of fatigue ..... and his memory studies ... well, Jeez... something black came out of his mouth - every undergraduate remembers that one - but the rest of the story? Exactly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Such a sad story. It has taken her years to recover ... 9 July 2014
By Susan Short - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend (and her family) were traumatized by a well meaning (I guess) therapist who convinced her that her depression stemmed from being satanically abused as a child. Such a sad story. It has taken her years to recover from those fraudulent "recovered memories” that he encouraged, perhaps placed, in her psyche.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Scientific Approach To Memory And False Memory Syndrome 5 Nov. 2012
By Douglas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author notes near the end of the book that "serious scientific research rarely makes it into the public consciousness." How sadly true. It is much easier to read pseudo-science "self help" tripe and let some self-proclaimed therapist (mind-rapist?) brainwash you into what you remember than it is to actually read a scientifically based book on memory like this one. Remembering Our Childhood shows how our memories work, and often don't work, and gives us much better ideas about when to trust them and when to doubt.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
dull and very dated 1 Feb. 2013
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
this book starts with an obvious bias rather than looking at the topic opening

also many recent scientific research has been shown to demonstrate the *traumatic* memories cannot be falsely remembered and are often repressed as a coping mechanism, all this is ignored in the book - really the author needs to start again since he has ignored nearly all post-2000 research
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