#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times
“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”—USA Today
“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.
Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.
When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and then college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age...
In the frantically short time it took to read Tara Westover's "Educated" (I couldn't put it down), I lived the 27 years she narrates with such Beaty and pathos. I was as ignorant of the lifestyle she was born into as she was of the world around her and felt myself growing along with her. This book made me want to scream at her to love herself and reminded me to heed that advice myself. Brava brave Tara. 55
Inspirational. Breathtaking. Everything you ever needed to read. 55
Truly a remarkable book. Difficult to put down. Beautiful story of resiliency of a young woman. 55
Spellbinding account of how a child can overcome extreme lifestyles. 55
Exceptional book by a courageous and talented writer! The author’s self discovery and passion for self improvement is very inspiring and should be required reading at the high school level. 55
It’s the easiest thing - to read Tara Westover’s harrowing memoir as the confirmation of everything an educated person knows to be wrong with America: her father, his Mormon faith, her family’s delusions; the fear and loathing, and paranoia; the absolute denial of facts and personal autonomy. Why shouldn’t we? Why should this testimony of the most profound human degeneracy - the demonization of knowledge; the vilification of civilization (which is precisely what makes libertarianism inimical to all basic human values) be any less towering a reference of our condition than say Tom Friedman’s “The World Is Flat”? Westover’s testament is not a caricature. She is not a state paid Russian troll. Her story is the ghoulish reality of Red state America: ignorant, bigoted, pathologically religiously abusive, and so thoroughly malevolent and moronic, no one would believe it were it not told in the first person by a brutalized escapee such as its author. Education makes you human. Welcome to the feral state of America. 55
As an only child, I was fascinated by this large, dysfunctional family. The domineering father and subservient mother was so sad. Tara was bright and had to struggle so hard to become her own healthy person. I felt so sorry for Emily and other women who could not leave such bad relationships. Tara's story is one of great bravery in finally becoming her own person. 45
Interesting, but confusing. Just like her life! I could not relate to such an intelligent woman having the doubts about herself and her understanding of abuse that she experienced. Makes me doubt that education can help overcome poor nurturing. 35
An amazing, incredible story. Read it. There are few books that will touch you in the same way. 55