I recently read "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh - An Investigation" a 2019 book by two New York Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, about the 2018 confirmation fight over Kavanaugh's nomination to the US Supreme Court. During which Kavanaugh was accused of (among other things) assaulting one woman and exposing himself to another. First I should acknowledge a bias in that I would prefer to live in a universe in which the charges against Kavanaugh are baseless. That said I don't think this is very worthwhile book because it adds little to the press coverage at the time.
The charges against Kavanaugh involve events that allegedly happened over 30 years ago. In evaluating them it is important to account for the fact that human memory is fallible. Not only do we forget things over time we can also form false memories of things that didn't happen. The book does not discuss this at all. I believe there is a large academic literature about false memories which I am too lazy too look up. Instead I will cite a couple of examples from my own experience.
I have a memory of my father (who died over 30 years ago) telling my mother and me (and maybe my brother) that he had gotten a good post-doctoral position which however depended on his receiving his PhD by a certain date which he had failed to do. However when I mentioned this to my mother she had no idea what I was talking about. My brother also has no recollection of such a conversation which I now doubt ever took place. What I suspect happened is that I dreamed the conversation. I don't pay attention to my dreams and usually have forgotten them a few minutes after waking up. However sometimes a particularly intense or vivid dream can form a lasting memory. If the dream events are superficially plausible I suspect that years later I could mistakenly accept such a lasting dream memory as real. Which is what I think happened in this case.
In another case I recently had a conversation with a friend about something that happened over 15 years ago. It turned out our memories differed about one detail. Prior to this discussion I would not have doubted my memory. Even afterwards I thought I was right but in attempting to verify this I found a contemporary email backing my friend's version of events. In this case I think my memory of a real event was contaminated by my memories of somewhat similar but unrelated events. An example of such contamination would be if you had a high school acquaintance named Victor Jordan but later mistakenly remembered his first name as Vernon or Michael because of confusing him with the more notable Vernon or Michael Jordan.
This sort of thing makes me reluctant to credit one person's unsupported recollection of long ago events particularly in politically charged cases like this. But as I said the book does not discuss false memories at all. Instead it just largely repeats the contemporaneus press coverage with little new material. So if you were paying any attention at the time this book won't add much. And if you weren't paying attention you probably aren't that interested in an account of this length (307 pages with end notes) containing lots of basically irrelevant details.
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