When Can Memories Be Trusted?

The remembrance of things past can be a mysterious process, with realities and myths blending into a vivid picture

Less than two weeks ago, Americans were spellbound before their television sets, watching Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas clash over their recollections of events a decade past. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are still fresh in our minds, but how many of us remember exactly what the two adversaries said, what they wore, the expressions on their faces and the tone of their voices? And 10 years from now, when we think back, how faithful will our memories be? Will we remember Hill's tears at one particularly painful disclosure of sexual harassment, and Thomas thumping the table as he decried the...

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