Tara Westover is an American historian and writer known for her unique and courageous education journey, as told in her internationally acclaimed memoir, Educated.
Born to Mormon survivalist parents opposed to public education, Tara never attended school, and spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother. That is, 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.
Educated is her account of the struggle for self-education and 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. Educated was long-listed for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and has spent 49 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list as of February 2019. Former U.S. President Barack Obama named Educated as one of the books on his summer reading list of 2018.