Paperback / softback
February 18, 2020
2 b&w photos
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.35 Pounds (US)
$12.95 USD, £11.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference



The idea that America is a literate country is a misconception. There are more than thirty million adults in the United States today who cannot read, and spectator mentality and an obsession with instant gratification prevent many from retaining a true commitment to literacy. The issue persists despite a wealth of dedicated teachers across the country. Through no fault of their own, many educators are unable to excite students about learning to read and write. In response to this problem, James W. Parkinson argues that people must become responsible for their own education and learn the importance of being self-taught in reading and writing.

In Autodidactic: Self-Taught, Parkinson shares his personal stories and discoveries about how to take charge of one's own learning, weaving together practical wisdom and historical statements issued by some of the world's most remarkable leaders. Parkinson details his failures and successes, his inability to engage intellectually in his youth, and his efforts to educate himself over a span of forty years—all to remind readers that education is a lifelong challenge with no shortcuts. This book promises to motivate students, doctors, factory workers, and flight attendants alike to take matters into their own hands when it comes to learning in order to change their lives for the better.

About the Authors

James W. Parkinson is a lawyer, author, speaker, and activist. He is the author of Changing the World One Book at a Time, coauthor of Soldier Slaves: Abandoned by the White House, Courts, and Congress, and producer of the film The Inheritance of War.


"In Jim Parkinson's entertaining and enlightening book, all students can learn how to take responsibility for their own success through word mastery."—Orrin G. Hatch, former US senator

"James Parkinson's wonderful book is as engaging as it is insightful. Autodidactic: Self-Taught is an essential guide for anyone interested in how reading, writing, and learning can enhance the quality of their lives."—Daniel L. Schacter, author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

"Autodidactic: Self-Taught is a highly readable and inspiring story of the author's personal journey to discovering the importance of reading and learning, but that is not the most important reason to read this little book. Instead, it is the broader message of the book—that we all can, and should, take charge of our own learning—that is so important."—Robert A. Bjork, distinguished research professor at University of California, Los Angeles

"Literacy is one of the most important civil rights of the twenty-first century. As president of the NAACP, I would like to see all African American students read Autodidactic: Self-Taught and take personal responsibility for their own education. As an American, I want to see all students receive a copy of the book, read it, and change the trajectory of their lives. Literacy is that important!"—Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

9781585714254 : autodidactic-parkinson-perez
Paperback / softback
112 Pages
$12.95 USD

Other Titles by James W. Parkinson

Changing the World One Book at a Time

James W. Parkinson
Sep 2019 - Kentucky Publishing Services, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$24.95 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / General

Only Leave a Trace

Roger Epp
Mar 2017 - University of Alberta Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Complete Retirement Handbook

Forest J. Bowman
Aug 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback