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

Greg Mortenson , David Oliver Relin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (432 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Jan 2007
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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Product details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (30 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143038257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143038252
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (432 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 513,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

A former mountaineer and military veteran, Greg Mortenson is the director of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and spends several months a year establishing schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Co-author David Oliver Relin is an award-winning writer and contributor to Parade and Skiing Magazine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In Pakistan's Karakoram, bristling across an area barely one hundred miles wide, more than sixty of the world's tallest mountains lord their severe alpine beauty over a witnessless high-altitude wilderness. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
470 of 488 people found the following review helpful
By Pumpkin
I was, until my very recent retirement, the Headteacher of a Church of England primary school where 90% of pupils were Muslim and a majority of those came from the Punjab or Kashmir. I don't normally read non-fiction, but was attracted to this book because of its links to both education and the South Asian Muslim culture.

How glad I am that I chose it. What an inspirational story! I read it in two days. It gave such a true reflection of the real Islam, one which values education and most importantly values the contribution that women make to society. It reflected my experience of the Muslim culture over the many years I have worked with Muslim children and their families. I am neither a Christian, nor a Muslim, but have found that true Christians and Muslims respect each others faith.

Greg Mortenson endured great hardship, two fatwa and long separation from his family to pursue his dream of educational provision for all the children living in those isolated mountain or border regions. What a humanitarian! He really should be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
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142 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most inspiring book i have ever read 23 April 2008
I strongly, strongly urge you to buy this book. Not only is it a fascinating read and a really entertaining story, the message behind it is utterly inspiring and one which needs to be spread to as many people as possible. If only there were more people in the world like Greg, the man is incredible. I can honestly say that it has fundamentally changed my views on religion, politics and the best way to make the world a safer place for everyone. Everyone i know who has read it feels the same. You won't be disappointed.
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170 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Mortenson, I'm a born-again humanitarian 8 Feb 2008
Due to lack of time, I normally take 15-20 days to get through a book. This one took only four though!

The book narrates the story of Greg Mortenson who decides to build a school for a village in the North of Pakistan. What inspired me most was the fact that Mortenson, an American national, himself lived 'on the edge' with no accomodation and barely enough money to buy the next meal. However, resolve and commitment to the cause allowed him to generate the necessary funds so that the promised school can be built.

What happened next was inevitable. The experiment proved to be such a success that one after the other he just kept on building schools and the money kept pouring into the accounts of the newly-found charity, Central Asia Institute.

If you have a spark for social responsibility, the book will serve as a catalyst to turn in to a fire. Got get it!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Five stars to Greg, two for the book 24 Jun 2010
Having read the book I really admire what Greg Mortenson has done and they way he's risked his life to help others. However the book itself was very hard going I found, not well structured with random accounts of meetings and not a clear link between the events described. One chapter didn't really seem to lead to another, it almost felt I'd started a new book each time I got to a new chapter which was really tiring. This may be because the person who was writing it didn't actually experience what was being written about, I am not sure. I did persist to the end as it was a book group choice, and know much more now about the politics of the area etc as a result, but so many times I could have put it down and not picked it up again. However as I say I am amazed by what Greg and his team have done, a real lesson to us all to be more tolerant and not view a whole nation in a certain way because of what we are fed on the TV etc.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The enemy is ignorance" 25 July 2006
These words, spoken by Pakistani Brigadier General Bashir, symbolize an underlying thread in this extraordinary story. The fight against ignorance resulting from illiteracy and complete lack of economic resources is the primary theme of award-winning Journalist David Oliver Relin's account of a man with a mission: Greg Mortenson. Ignorance of local culture and customs, racial and religious prejudice are intimately linked to the failures in achieving lasting peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Education of the young, and in particular girls, are offered as an essential tool against ignorance. Building schools in remote and isolated regions of Pakistan has been Mortenson's passion for 13 years. Relin traces Mortenson's travels and encounters for a period of two years, interviewing many friends - and a few sceptics - along the way and recording months of discussions with Mortenson himself. The result is an action-packed adventure story with a deep moral and emotional centre. It depicts ten years in the life of a man who turned failure into strength, growing into a great humanitarian and dedicated fighter for the rights of tens of thousands forgotten poor in the tribal areas of this powder keg region of Central Asia.

Overcoming ignorance has also been a leitmotiv for Greg himself. After abandoning his climb to the top of K2, the second largest mountain in the world, he had lost his guide and then his way on the descent. Close to exhaustion, he reached Korphe, a small village high up in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas. As the villagers nurtured him back to strength he became increasingly aware of the extreme poverty of the region and the dire conditions of the children's school. The village could not afford a school building and a teacher for only three days a week at $1 a day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In addition to what he achieved I loved his descriptions of the...
Greg is such an inspiration to us all- what he achieved and what he went through to achieve it demonstrates to us that anything is possible if we really believe. Read more
Published 13 days ago by SM
5.0 out of 5 stars I found it very inspiring and moving story and have recommended.
Despite all the negative aftermath which I don't know whether to believe, I found it very inspiring and moving story and have recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Plain Jane
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
Very disappointed when I did a search to discover all the scandal about this man and that some things in the book may not be true
Published 1 month ago by disappointed
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
An excellent and extremely interesting read. I was drawn into the story and it expanded my knowledge of the area and of what other people are prepared to do to help the less... Read more
Published 1 month ago by 3 legs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An inspirational read about how the determination of one person can change the lives of so many.
Published 1 month ago by kathrynloise smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Daughter delighted with book + prompt delivery Thanks
Published 1 month ago by mum of 3
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book it gave me a whole new and more positive perspective on this area of the world
Published 2 months ago by chris price
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived promptly and as described great read
Published 2 months ago by CAZZA7
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, gives us hope for future generations
Ordered for a book club, in the end not the chosen book. But I have read and enjoyed it, in a few days.
Published 2 months ago by Maureen Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the most inspiring stories I have ever read thank you
Published 2 months ago by Elaine Desk Top
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