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Educated: The Sunday Times and New York…

Educated: The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling memoir (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Tara Westover (Author)

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7385018,105 (4.31)40
Title:Educated: The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling memoir
Authors:Tara Westover (Author)
Info:Hutchinson (2018), 400 pages
Collections:Read 2018, Your library

Work details

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (2018)

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» See also 40 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
In Tara Westover's book Educated she describes what it was like to grow up in a fundamentalist Mormon/survivalist family in Idaho that did not believe in public education, western medicine and did not trust the government. She gives details on the abuse she was on the receiving end from one of her brothers and the influence of another brother who escaped to college. Tara experiences self doubt and a culture shock in college, but she discovers this is who she is meant to be and cannot allow herself to be influenced by her dad & brother's beliefs anymore. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Aug 19, 2018 |
Exceptional book by a very courageous woman - I was so impressed with this memoir written by a woman who grew up in a Mormon survivalist family believing that the government was evil and that medical treatment and schooling were off limits - the younger children in the family had no birth certificates and were not immunized. Tara was required to work in dangerous conditions in her extremist father's junkyard from a young age. At age 17 she attended college, the first formal schooling of her life.

Slowly she was able to break away from the abuse by her mentally ill brother, and the false premises that were instilled in her from birth. The inner strength that it took for her to enter the outside world where she first learned of civil rights and the Holocaust at age 17, and learned how to dress and behave in a manner that contradicted everything she knew was amazing.

This is certainly one of my favorite books of the year. I felt that it was very well written and am so impressed by Tara and all that it took for her to blossom into the woman she was always meant to be. She is so insightful and accomplished and very brave. ( )
  njinthesun | Aug 15, 2018 |
Educated is a fabulous book. Tara Westover's childhood makes an incredible story—incredible both in the sense that it is unbelievable that it happened and in the sense that it is amazing that she survived it. Prevented from attending public school and given almost no schooling at home, raised in a dangerous and abusive home, Westover managed to escape the gravity well of her family and upbringing, but Educated is more than just the story of how she grew up and made a life for herself. What makes this book truly special are Westover's reflections on her experiences, and the deep understanding they have given her of her own choices and why she made them. She does a lot of things that might be difficult for an outsider—particularly someone who has never experienced abuse—to understand, but her gift as a writer is that she makes them comprehensible. ( )
  Enyonam | Aug 11, 2018 |
This book made me feel frustrated, and often sad, and I think not nearly as inspired as the author would have hoped. Perhaps I'm burned out with dysfunctional family narratives.....not sure. This book was fine, but won't be one of my favorites of the year. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Aug 10, 2018 |
Tara Westover grew up in rural Idaho with survivalist parents who sought to prepare for the “End Days” and live independent from government interference. The children did not attend public school, but weren’t consistently home-schooled either. They did not have birth certificates. Medical treatment was administered by the parents using various homemade herbal salves and remedies. And yet in 2014, Tara was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University. Educated is her memoir of that long, harrowing journey. And it is excellent.

Tara and her siblings faced so many obstacles, educational, financial, medical, and more. Let’s start with Tara’s father, a true patriarch whose word was law. He insisted Tara and her siblings work in the scrapyard he managed on their property, exposing them to all manner of occupational hazards and the inevitable injuries, some serious with long-lasting consequences. He enforced rigid rules governing gender roles and forms of dress. As they grew up, each of the children made some attempt at independence, with widely varying results. Those who were able to claim full adult independence started by surreptitiously studying during their spare time. It is difficult to grasp the persistence required to master secondary school concepts, gain admission to college, and progress through a post-secondary program with virtually no family support. For some of Tara’s siblings this proved impossible, in no small part due to the hold their father had on each of them and on their mother.

Tara’s impressive academic achievements are just part of her story. In Educated, she demonstrates a remarkable level of candor and self-awareness, describing how she had to shed the skin she grew up in to become a completely different person that could function in mainstream society. It took a long time for her to be able to take ibuprofen for pain, and to see a counselor who could help her work through a myriad of issues stemming from her upbringing. This memoir is an incredible story and highly recommended. ( )
  lauralkeet | Aug 8, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tara Westoverprimary authorall editionscalculated
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 feel 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)
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Book description
An Amazon Best Book of February 2018: Tara Westover wasn’t your garden variety college student. When the Holocaust was mentioned in a history class, she didn’t know what it was (no, really). That’s because she didn’t see the inside of a classroom until the age of seventeen. Public education was one of the many things her religious fanatic father was dubious of, believing it a means for the government to brainwash its gullible citizens, and her mother wasn’t diligent on the homeschooling front. If it wasn’t for a brother who managed to extricate himself from their isolated—and often dangerous--world, Westover might still be in rural Idaho, trying to survive her survivalist upbringing. It’s a miraculous story she tells in her memoir Educated. For those of us who took our educations for granted, who occasionally fell asleep in large lecture halls (and inconveniently small ones), it’s hard to grasp the level of grit—not to mention intellect—required to pull off what Westover did. But eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University may have been the easy part, at least compared to what she had to sacrifice to attain it. The courage it took to make that sacrifice was the truest indicator of how far she’d come, and how much she’d learned. Educated is an inspiring reminder that knowledge is, indeed, power. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review
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"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"--Amazon.com.

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