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Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan [Paperback]

Greg Mortenson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 26, 2010
From the author of the #1 bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian’s efforts to promote peace through education

In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women—all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.

Since the 2006 publication of Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson has traveled across the U.S. and the world to share his vision with hundreds of thousands of people. He has met with heads of state, top military officials, and leading politicians who all seek his advice and insight. The continued phenomenal success of Three Cups of Tea proves that there is an eager and committed audience for Mortenson’s work and message.

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Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan + Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time + Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way
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Editorial Reviews Review

From Viking Press
In regards to the 60 Minutes episode that aired April 17, 2011: "Greg Mortenson’s work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of children with an education. 60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author."

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mortenson’s best-seller, Three Cups of Tea (2009), introduced his commitment to peace through education and became a book-club phenomenon. He now continues the story of how the Central Asia Institute (CAI) built schools in northern Afghanistan. Descriptions of the harsh geography and more than one near-death experience impress readers as new faces join Mortenson’s loyal “Dirty Dozen” as they carefully plot a course of school-building through the Badakshan province and Wakhan corridor. Mortenson also shares his friendships with U.S. military personnel, including Admiral Mike Mullen, and the warm reception his work has found among the officer corps. The careful line CAI threads between former mujahideen commanders, ex-Taliban and village elders, and the American soldiers stationed in their midst is poetic in its political complexity and compassionate consideration. Using schools not bombs to promote peace is a goal that even the most hard-hearted can admire, but to blandly call this book inspiring would be dismissive of all the hard work that has gone into the mission in Afghanistan as well as the efforts to fund it. Mortenson writes of nothing less than saving the future, and his adventure is light years beyond most attempts. Mortenson did not reach the summit of K2, but oh, the heights he has achieved. --Colleen Mondor --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143118234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143118237
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
243 of 266 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stones Into Schools: Mortenson Summits Again December 3, 2009
In his latest book, Greg Mortenson hosts the reader as a valuable and welcomed traveling companion as he retraces his steps through the most remote areas of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier areas and the formidable terrain of Afghanistan holding a mirror to our humanity. Mortenson introduces us to his trusted companions t...urned employees of Central Asia Institute, the so-called "Dirty Dozen", who truly embody the virtues of goodwill and perseverance in the name of literacy and, of course, God.

In short, Greg Mortenson's work makes Anthony Bordain's exotic travel look like a visit to Epcot Center.

Mortenson's committment to cross-cultural understanding beyond the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan is rivaled only by his determination to educate the under-served girls in the most remote areas of these countries. Stones Into Schools is a suspenseful, heart-breaking as it is heart-warming, true account of a life well lived and a people well-served. Mortenson is an honor to the human race and diplomat for world peace. About now, Greg Mortenson would do well to take his own advice and sit for a month under a walnut tree to recuperate.
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120 of 132 people found the following review helpful
I read Three Cups of Tea was was incredibly inspired by Greg Mortenson. His second book is even better in my opinion. Teaching people that they have the power to change themselves is so simple but sometimes takes incredibale amounts of work by other people. Greg and his team have performed incredible acts of bravery, endurance, and dedication to the noble cause of providing education to the girls of Pakistan and Afghanistan. You will not be able to put this book down. You also learn firsthand accounts of the success of many of the first girls to go through Greg's schools.
Read this book for an incredible account of an individual who has changed the world for so many people,
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167 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Knotty Problem December 3, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I tend to collect mostly management books on my Kindle, so I have been looking forward to Greg Mortensen's latest report on his activities in his remote part of the world (also where my son works every day). I don't think the world has two more opposite places than Burnet County and Kunar Province. Since 2003, we've built a nice high school here in Burnet for our 1000+ kids, and later on a playground (stadium). Greg's outfit has built and staffed 129 schools, and innumerable civic improvements, such as bridges and water systems, to supply educational services to a previously unserved populace, at a cost of $1-3/student. I think their whole budget for the six years is less than the cost of one Tomahawk missile, with guidance and delivery (and spare parts). On the other hand General Motors, working in the most car consuming section of Planet Earth, with significant manufacturing infrastructure worldwide, has a hard time making ends meet. In short, Greg's book is now at the top of my list for 2009 management books.
Mother Teresa, in response to an interview question about the best way to go about changing the world, said 'Reach out to the nearest one.' Greg, in response to the same question, would probably say 'Go to the Last Best Place.' Both of these people have found a way to impact their world, and improve conditions more than a thousand-fold by their efforts.
Three cups of Tea has become required reading for the US Counterintelligence school at West point; I would hope this book gets added to the curriculum quickly.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars President Obama, please read this book December 12, 2009
By No Man
The last chapter of this book before the Epilogue is called "The Last Best School". Mortenson calls it that because, due to circumstances, he had to step away and leave Afghanistan, compelling the Kirghiz people in the remote Wakhan corridor to build the school themselves, which they did, in record time. There was some assistance of supplies and skilled labor from the Central Asian Institute, and supervision from Safraz Khan (Mortenson's substantial partner and guide), but the Kirghiz, a people who had essentially been abandoned by everyone including the central Afghan government, completed the school themselves. They had asked for assistance using US Military helicopters but due to the distance, altitude, and inability to re-fuel, it was not granted.

This was the most important message that I found in this book. This school was built ten years after a request was made to Mortenson by Kirghiz men who rode on horseback for a week or so to deliver it to him. I read his first book "Three Cups of Tea" last summer, and it seems as if Mortenson's message has changed a little to encorporate the following: 1) listen to the Afghan (Pakistani,Kashmir, fill in the blank) people, 2) let them tell you what they want to accomplish, 3) ask them what they need to accomplish it, 4) then say (in the words of Baba Ram Dass) "How can I Help?".

Another part of the book described how a conflict was solved via communication between a respected mullah who became the headmaster of a girls' school and the local Taliban fighters who were threatening the girls who were attending it. Without committing any violence, he was able to convince them to leave the girls alone. Violence (i.e.,war) should always be a last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. Education is the key to ensuring peace. Let's hope.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
In spite of the author's controversy, I support his work.
Published 3 days ago by Betty B. Hawley
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking.
A much better way of working with the Middleeast than using military action.
Published 18 days ago by Lawrence Shipley
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing man
I've listened to this book for about a month. I had a CD player by my kitchen sink and listened while I do dishes & clean the kitchen. Read more
Published 1 month ago by toobusyreading
5.0 out of 5 stars Stones
The man certainly put himself out there!
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Sypolt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a good book and it was shipped quickly.
Published 2 months ago by anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is interesting; the back-story even more so.
This is an interesting book written by Greg Mortenson, the founder of the Central Asia Institute (CAI). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Audiobook Bandit
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Too bad Mortenson got caught up in his own spin.
Published 2 months ago by Pat Haley
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 3 months ago by S. Arieff
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be enjoyed and appreciated by adults as well as children
Inspirational as well as entertaining.
Can be enjoyed and appreciated by adults as well as children.
Published 3 months ago by Colorado Shopper
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 months ago by Mary K Bergin
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More About the Author

photo (c) 2009 Khyber Mortenson

Greg Mortenson is the co-founder and director of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and founder of Pennies For Peace

He is the co-author of Three Cups of Tea, which has been a New York Times nonfiction paperback bestseller for overfour years, and published in 49 countries, and also the author of Stones Into Schools, Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Since a 1993 climb of Pakistan's K2, Mortenson has worked in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote education and literacy, to establish 178 schools, especially for girls, which provide education to over 68,000 students, including 54,000 females.

Three Cups of Tea is required reading for senior U.S. military commanders, and U.S. Special Forces deploying to Afghanistan, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committe. The book has been a freshman or common book read in over 160 universities and colleges, and a 'One Book' read in over 400 communities.

His second book, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books Not Bombs in Pakistan and Afghanistan debuted at # 2 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list.

In 2009, Mortenson received the Sitara-e-Pakistan, which is Pakistan's highest civil award for his humanitarian efforts, While not overseas, Mortenson is a prolific reader, and enjoys being home in Montana with his wife and two children in Montana.

More detailed biography on
Mortenson is on Twitter gregmortenson.

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Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan
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