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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time

by and

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time Cover

ISBN13: 9780143038252
ISBN10: 0143038257
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time — Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.

Award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin has collaborated on this spellbinding account of Mortenson's incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are often feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself. At last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world — one school at a time.

Review:

"Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The harsh beauty of Afghanistan has always lured a certain hardy breed of Westerner, and the few who linger there inevitably become both addicted and disillusioned. Despite the overthrow of the repressive Taliban and the advent of democracy in 2001, the country continues to vex as much as it inspires — and the continuing deep U.S. involvement in its rebirth compels us to examine why.

In... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"'[B]y delivering what his country will not, Mortenson is 'fighting the war on terror the way I think it should be conducted,' [coauthor] Relin writes. This inspiring, adventure-filled book makes that case admirably." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson's dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it's proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world." Tom Brokaw

Review:

"Greg Mortenson represents the best of America. He's my hero. And after you read Three Cups of Tea, he'll be your hero, too." U.S. representative Mary Bono (R-Calif.)

Review:

"Three Cups of Tea is beautifully written. It is also a critically important book at this time in history. The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan are both failing their students on a massive scale. The work Mortenson is doing, providing the poorest students with a balanced education, is making them much more difficult for the extremist madrassas to recruit." Ahmed Rashid, best-selling author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

Review:

"Laced with drama, danger, romance, and good deeds, Mortenson's story serves as a reminder of the power of a good idea and the strength inherent in one person's passionate determination to persevere against enormous obstacles." Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

About the Author

Greg Mortenson is the director of the Central Asia Institute. A resident of Montana, he spends several months of the year in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

David Oliver Relin is a contributing editor for Parade Magazine and Skiing Magazine. He has won more than forty national awards for his work as a writer and editor.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 81 comments:

Maya Grosch, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Maya Grosch)
This incredible story will have you laughing with wonder, smiling with heart-wrenching joy, and crying with terrible sadness within 5 minutes. This book is truly one that pulls on your heartstrings. It is impossible not to fall deep into Greg Mortenson's story of success and hardships to get there. It is a truly incredible story of one man's promise that changed many people's worlds forever. It is a story of success, of never giving up no matter what, and of love. Get ready to shed a few tears along the way, because this novel had me bawling like a baby. It is an incredible story, especially because it is actually one man's story of success, and if you have not read it, I very strongly suggest picking it up and reading it. It is worth it, and I can guarantee that you will learn a very valuable lesson or two. Lessons about friendship, loyalty, honesty, and perseverance are just a few that I know I sure learned a lot about in this touching story. So make sure you have a box of tissues near by and enjoy this truly amazing story of one man's journey to keep a simple promise made to the people who saved his life in the mountains.
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Edward Hahn, August 14, 2011 (view all comments by Edward Hahn)
I've been putting off reading this book because of my suspicion of do-gooders' stories about themselves as I am invariably disappointed when I learn the truth about them. Greg Mortenson comes across as a goal oriented, hard working, humble man. This narrative covers a time from 1993 to 2006 in which he gave his life over to building schools in pakistan and Afghanistan. If just half of what he reports he's done is true, he is indeed a remarkable man.

The story opens with him lost and exhausted after failing to climb K-2, the world's second highest peak and reportedly the most difficult climb in the Himalayas. Lost and exhausted he wanders into the remote village of Korphe. After the residents help him regain his strength, he notices that they have no school and the children study outdoors with a part time teacher. He decides that he will build a school for the children of Korphe. Most of the first half of the book tells of his struggles to raise money and to overcome the barriers of poor infra-structure, corrupt merchants, and weather to build the first school. The second half is about him expanding his effort to other parts of Pakistan and even into Afghanistan. He also develops a sub-text of wanting to educate girls who were often forbidden to go to school but who seemed to do more with their education than the boys did.

I believe the lesson to be learned from this book is that helping people in underdeveloped countries works best on small scale with providers who are humble, respectful and willing to listen and learn. Unfortunately, there are few such people around.

I certainly learned a lot about rural Pakistan from reading the book. I was also introduced to a different sort of Muslim than that which is portrayed by the paranoid purveyors of so-called safety. I, myself, have lived in Asia for many years including a short stint in Saudi Arabia and know first hand the frustration that can take over as you try to get something done. I also know that, in the end, the only way to get things done is through co-operation not coercion. Mortenson exemplifies that approach.

There have been some rumblings that he has enriched himself with some of the funds he's raised. If my relatives in Bozeman, MT, where he lives, are to be believed, he lives a very simple lifestyle. I suspect the problem is partly his inexperience as an organizer and business person plus some jealousy from those who are unhappy with his fame. For those of you who are interested in Mortenson's response and the facts of the situation please go to the CAI site where you can access the responses to the allegations. It certainly cleared up my doubts.

I plan to read his second book, "Stones into Schools" next.
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writermala, April 7, 2011 (view all comments by writermala)
Indeed an inspiring book. We have all used the expression, 'anything I do would be a drop of water in the Ocean." Greg Mortensen demonstrates that these drops can add up and make an impact in an Ocean. There are some profound statements in the book like, "Who knew something as simple as a bridge could empower women?" Also, the simple Pakistani and Afghani women in their own way are really strong. This is demonstrated by Uzra, who says, "we women of Afghanistan see light through education, not through this or that hole in a piece of cloth."
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 81 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143038252
Author:
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Mortenson, Greg
Author:
Relin, David
Author:
Relin, David Oliver
Author:
Oliver
Author:
Relin, David Oliv
Author:
er
Subject:
Educators
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Students & Student Life
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Pakistan
Subject:
Humanitarians
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Asia - Central Asia
Subject:
Girls' schools - Pakistan
Subject:
Girls' schools - Afghanistan
Subject:
Biography-Humanitarians
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert; 2 b/w maps
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.40x5.48x.81 in. .77 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » Educators
Biography » General
Education » General
History and Social Science » Asia » General
History and Social Science » Asia » Pakistan
History and Social Science » Current Affairs » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Afghanistan and Pakistan
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143038252 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "'[B]y delivering what his country will not, Mortenson is 'fighting the war on terror the way I think it should be conducted,' [coauthor] Relin writes. This inspiring, adventure-filled book makes that case admirably."
"Review" by , "Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson's dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it's proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world."
"Review" by , "Greg Mortenson represents the best of America. He's my hero. And after you read Three Cups of Tea, he'll be your hero, too."
"Review" by , "Three Cups of Tea is beautifully written. It is also a critically important book at this time in history. The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan are both failing their students on a massive scale. The work Mortenson is doing, providing the poorest students with a balanced education, is making them much more difficult for the extremist madrassas to recruit." Ahmed Rashid, best-selling author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
"Review" by , "Laced with drama, danger, romance, and good deeds, Mortenson's story serves as a reminder of the power of a good idea and the strength inherent in one person's passionate determination to persevere against enormous obstacles."
"Synopsis" by ,

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

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