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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time Hardcover – March 2, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred 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. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin; First Edition edition (March 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670034827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670034826
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book just a few weeks before the scandal broke. I loved the story and am glad to see children being educated. And yet some things just didn't add up....

International development is a challenge, and there is a long history of failure. The main problem is, how do you translate donor money into resources that get to the right people at the right time in the right form? It always seems like 90% is either wasted directly (mismanagement, bribes, etc.), or gets siphoned off to pay for things that aren't used or not wanted. A lot of this is political: local leaders resist being upstaged and have their own priorities and face-saving motives, while the philanthropists insist upon doing it "our way" because "we know what's best".

Three Cups of Tea makes it sound like Greg Mortenson has single-handedly solved these problems. Hence the questions that arose when I read the book. Could it really be that a village would be completely unanimous in support of new school, and with such universal, thumping excitement? There weren't any political toes being stepped on? Was there really no suspiciousness or even apathy among the villagers? Would a villager really approach Mortenson to have a broken bone set (Mortenson is a nurse), when this sort of 'technology-free medicine' is exactly the sort of thing, like midwifery, that less developed cultures maintain quite a good grasp of? Given how hard it is to get a doctor to work in rural but accessible areas in N. America, how could teachers be recruited to work in these new schools in tiny villages, which take days to get to and where the local language is different? How could he know the schools were being built in the right place?
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up at a 3 for 2 sale ages ago and it had been getting buried deeper and deeper in my to be read stack ever since. When I heard about the controversy surrounding the book, I decided it was time to pry it out and dust it off.

Although I did not see the "Sixty Minutes" episode, I did read Krakauer's "Three Cups of Deceit". But then it occurred to me that I don't know any more about Krakauer than I do about Mortenson, and nor do I have any more reason to trust him. So I also read Mortenson's statement along with various material from his supporters, and I tried very hard to read the book with an open mind. Even with this effort, however, I have to say, no offense, but people actually believed this to begin with? I know I'm working with the benefit of hindsight and all, but the book is so fantastical I can't believe anyone ever swallowed it whole without gagging. We may never know how much, if any, of what David Oliver Relin tells us about Greg Mortenson is true, but if even half of it is, we all need to throw ourselves on our faces and repent - Greg Mortenson is the Second Coming of Christ.

This book is myth-making in the finest tradition. Greg Mortenson is a hero of epic proportions. He's the most competent Army medic and trauma nurse. He's a skilled climber who selflessly spends 96 hours shuttling supplies up a mountain so that others can rest before attempting the summit and then, with only two hours' rest, he spends another 72 hours rescuing a severely ill climbing companion, and it is only with Mortenson's knowledge and skill that the man survives.
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Format: Paperback
Written for kids 8 and up, this young reader's edition of Three Cups of Tea tells the inspirational story of Greg Mortenson and his selfless mission to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson's original book, Three Cups of Tea, has become a worldwide bestseller. Since the goal is about building schools and educating kids, this book and the newly published picture book Listen to the Wind are naturals.

When mountaineer Mortenson got lost in the Pakistani mountains after a failed attempt at climbing K2, he was rescued by the villagers in impoverished Korphe. As he was nursed back to health, Mortenson was shocked to learn that Korphe's children had no school, with lessons taught outdoors just three days a week. Kids learned to write using sticks in the dirt. To repay the village's kindness, Mortenson promised to return, and help build a school.

Mortenson did come back to Korphe, and has indeed helped build not just one but fifty-five schools -- many for girls -- in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The idea of "three cups of tea" comes from Korphe's village chief, Haji Ali. "With the first cup of tea you are a stranger, with the second you become a friend, and with the third, you join our family."

Many parts of Mortenson's story are thrilling as he describes his adventures in such a dangerous part of the world. A trip to Afghanistan, for example, comes complete with red rocks that signal land mines: "There are millions of land mines buried all over Afghanistan, left there by armies after years and years of war.
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