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Sunday, July 31, 2022

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm generally not one to read biographies all that much, but sometimes I get bullied or that little spark of curiosity overtakes me. This is a case of the latter.

I mean, education has always been very important to me. So much so that I've read nearly 6k books for the freaking hell of it. So when faced with an autobiography of someone who had never been to school until she was 17 and eventually made it all the way through Cambridge, I had to sit my ass down and read her story.

I mean, let's face it: most people who are stuck that deep in a poverty hole, forced to live in ignorance flavored by religious fanaticism clothed in survivalism and home-schooling, do NOT, generally, ever get out of these holes. It's not just the lack of resources, it's the lack of support from within.

So we get a story, here, of as much luck as strong will.

That being said, it IS a feel-good story but I also felt the despair that didn't so much hide beneath the words but sit on my chest and choke me around my neck. There's something evil about any kind of acceptance of long-term abuse. But the joy of having one's eyes opened to a wider world, of making new decisions because you can, was always tempered by the unenviable return to despair when one is forced to choose between family and a loss of ignorance.

I thoroughly enjoyed the account and empathized with it.

It's also a glowing endorsement of the old observation that schools breed liberals.
When education itself is radical and disruptive, then perhaps ignorance is the ultimate reactionary state. Any way of living that cannot withstand close scrutiny and comparison with anything else may not have the most sound foundation.

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