Meet Our Speaker

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Tara Westover is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to  

public education, she never attended school. An older brother taught her to read, and after that her education was erratic and haphazard, with most of her days spent working in her father’s junk yard or stewing herbs for her mother.  

She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first  

encounter with education she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning  a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She received an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009 and in 2014 was awarded a PhD in history. Currently, she is  a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, working on projects  related to media and political polarization.

 

In 2018, she published her memoir, Educated, which explores her struggle to  reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to  her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at  #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than  two years. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the Los  Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book  Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best “Westover has somehow  managed not only to capture  her unsurpassably exceptional  upbringing, but to make her  current situation seem not so  exceptional at all, and  

resonant for many others.”  

 

— The New York Times