Tara Westover in conversation with Nancy Gibbs

November 7, 2019

Tara Westover, the author of the New York Times #1 Bestseller Educated, is the Fall 2019 A.M Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence at the Shorenstein Center. She joined Center Director Nancy Gibbs on Tuesday, November 5th in the JFK Jr. Forum at the Kennedy School to talk about writing, memory, and the power, privilege, and impact of education.

“Is your education going to make you arrogant? Is it going to make you persuasive?” Westover asked at one point in the evening, recounting the story of a friend at the University of Cambridge who helped change her mind on ideas she held from her isolated, fundamentalist upbringing. “Is it going to give you the curiosity you need to understand someone in order to really talk to that person and move their mind a little bit?”

Watch the full video of Westover and Gibbs’ hour long conversation here:

Educated was the Harvard First-Year Experience summer reading for all incoming freshman this year, and many of the undergraduate students who came over to the Kennedy School to hear Westover speak connected strongly with her story. You can also read the Harvard Crimson’s write-up of the talk here: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/11/6/tara-westover-talk/