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Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir (2018)

by Tara Westover

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,2902711,853 (4.27)331
"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 in her father's junkyard. 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 one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."--Provided by publisher.… (more)
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» See also 331 mentions

English (263)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (270)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
Memoirs aren't usually my favorite genre. I want to be entertained and since fiction doesn't have to follow the bounds of truth, the stories are better. This memoir is an exception. Educated is a perfect example of how truth can be stranger than fiction. Not really strange, but mesmerizing and disturbing. Tara Westover's childhood with her fundamentalist parents is a story of neglect and abuse. The pain Tara and her siblings went through was at times horrific, but equally amazing was Tara's resilience. This was an impressive story! ( )
  jmoncton | May 24, 2020 |
The take-away? Memory: what does it mean to remember? What does it mean to remember our childhood in particular? It hurts. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 18, 2020 |
A powerful reminder of the role memory plays in life

I have been putting off reading this book for probably a year now. A friend recommended it but I kept finding reasons to avoid it. I'm a little sad that I waited so long.

Reading Educated is an experience. It's something you have to have a little knowledge of in order to understand, even if your childhood wasn't exactly the same.

It's a memoir, and a reminder that our memories may not be sufficient because we remember only that which was significant for us at any given time. ( )
  Booksunknown23 | May 18, 2020 |
There is always something powerful about seeing part of your experience in a book, that acknowledgment that your story isn’t weird or bad or shameful, that you aren’t alone. Tara’s story isn’t my story. But there is enough overlap to make me feel less ashamed of my life and childhood and the choices I’ve made as an adult. She gives me hope for a future of peace and rest. ( )
  hestapleton | May 16, 2020 |
24. Educated by Tara Westover
reader: Julia Whelan
published: 2018
format: 12:20 audible audiobook (334 pages in hardcover)
acquired: April 13
listened: Apr 13- May 7
rating: 4½
locations: Idaho, University of Utah, Cambridge, Harvard
about the author born in Clifton, Idaho, September 2?, 1986

This one has a pair of draws—the strange world of the Tara's Westover family in Idaho and her introduction to the real world, outside the shelter of her family's warped world. Both are thoroughly entertaining, the former full of outrageous disturbing elements. I knew this when I sampled the audio, what I didn't expect is how immediately it grabbed my attention. Westover is a far better writer than I anticipated.

the rest is on my 2020 thread on Librarything:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/318836#7162111 ( )
  dchaikin | May 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Westover, Taraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Svensson, PatrikCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, & thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past. - Virginia Woolf
I believe finally, that education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience; that the process and the goal of education are one and the same thing. - John Dewey
For Tyler
First words
My strongest memory is not a memory.
...I had finally begun to grasp something that should have been immediately apparent: that someone had opposed the great march toward equality; someone had been the person from whom freedom had been wrested. (p. 180)
...something shifted nonetheless. I had started on a path of awareness, had perceived something elemental about my brother, my father, myself. I had discerned the ways in which we had been sculpted by a tradition given to us by others, a tradition of which we were either willfully or accidentally ignorant. I had begun to understand that we had lent our voices to a discourse who sole purpose was to dehumanize and brutalize others--because nurturing that discourse was easier, because retaining power always feels like the way forward. (p. 180)
I had decided to study no history, but historians. I suppose my interest came from the sense of groundlessness I'd felt since learning about the Holocaust and the civil rights movement--since realizing that what a person knows about the past is limited, and will always be limited, to what they are told by others. I knew what it was to have a misconception corrected--a misconception of such magnitude that shifting it shifted the world. Now I needed to understand how the great gatekeepers of history had come to terms with their own ignorance and partiality. I thought that if I could accept that what they had written was not absolute but was the result of a biased process of conversation and revision, maybe I could reconcile myself with the fact that the history of most people agreed upon was not the history I had been taught. Dad could be wrong, and the great historians Carlyle and Macauley and Trevelyan could be wrong, but from the ashes of their dispute I could construct a world to live in. In knowing the ground was not ground at all, I hoped I could stand on it. (p. 238)
It's strange how you give the people you love so much power over you, I had written in my journal. ... He had defined me to myself, and there's no greater power than that. (p. 199)
I had been taught to read the words of men like Madison as a cast into which I ought to pour the plaster of my own mind, to be reshaped according to the contours of their faultless model. I read them to learn what to think, not how to think for myself. (p. 239)
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This is a memoir of Tara whom was raised off the grid in Idaho with no education and isolated. Tara craved knowledge and once one of her brothers got into college she followed. She went to Cambridge and Harvard, but she wondered if she lost her way home. She shows how education can change ones life even though she came from a totally different upbringing.
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