Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
"'[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
"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
"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.)
"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
"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
Traces how the author, having been rescued and resuscitated by Himalayan villagers after a failed attempt to climb K2, worked to build schools that would particularly benefit the young girls who were forbidden an education by Taliban restrictions, an endeavor for which his life has been repeatedly threatened. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
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.