The education he had received bore little relation to the education he needed. Speaking as an American of 1900, he had as yet no education at all. He knew not even where or how to begin.
Wait ... what??? One of the challenges of teaching world history is that events unfold in both time and space. Focus on what was happening all around the world at a given time, and you lose the ability to tell a clear story. But focus on a story as it unfolded in a particular place (say America, France, China or Russia), and you risk putting history into silos.