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Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan Hardcover – December 1, 2009
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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." --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
*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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Read this book for an incredible account of an individual who has changed the world for so many people,
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.
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.