Tara Westover

Author, Educated: A Memoir

    Tara Westover, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People this year, is an American historian and writer known for her unique and courageous education journey. She was born to Mormon survivalist parents opposed to public education. Tara never attended school. She spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother. Until Tara decided to get education and experience the world outside of her community.

    Tara taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom and continued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.

    Her new book, Educated, is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a story that gets to the heart of what education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it. Tara argues that education is not just about job training, but a powerful tool of self-invention. Educated was long-listed for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and had spent 32 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Former U.S. President Barack Obama named Educated as one of the books on his summer reading list of 2018.