The workings of memory have fascinated scientists for hundreds of years, and in Memory: Fragments of a Modern History, Alison Winter shows that our understanding of them has changed dramatically in just the past century, with major consequences for science, medicine, and everyday life. Memories have been declared as reliable as sounds caught on tape, and they have been dismissed as inherently volatile. Researchers have tried to understand what we do when we remember by appealing to motion pictures, filing cabinets, and flashbulbs. Tracing the cultural and scientific history of such drastically opposed convictions, Winter introduces us to the innovative scientists, venturesome medical practitioners, determined police interrogators, and, in some cases, incorrigible sensation seekers who sought to master this mysterious power. Culminating in the climactic "memory wars" of the 1980s and '90s, the story she tells illuminates not only the practices of science and medicine, but also a subject that is absolutely essential to how we all live our daily lives.