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on 17 May 2012
I had read 3 cups of tea (which is a great book though most of it is fiction) before I started to hear stories about Mortenson and how things weren't as he said.

Krakauer was in fact a financial backer of Morteson and the CAI and has given him approx $75,000 of his own money. However he started to suspect that his money wasn't going to the building of schools and withdrew his support.

It's a very well written and researched book. Mortenson had time to give his side of the story but never replied to Krakauer's offer.

One of the most surprising facts of the book is that the profits from 3 cups of tea do not actually go to directly to the CAI, but in fact to Mortenson and his co-author. Mortenson the donates part of the profit. This is why on the cover of 3 cups of tea you do not see any mention of the profits going to the CAI.
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on 26 July 2013
This a sad story about a man called Greg who started with the very best of intentions, but allowed himself to be seduced by money and whose integrity broke down. He has brought education and opportunity into the lives of many, for which the author gives due praise, but he has also apparently squandered donated funds on building schools in the wrong places, where they could not be supplied, or at any rate, have not been supplied, with teachers and equipment. He has obstinately refused to work with the government of Pakistan. I thought of Gregg and the Central Asia Foundation (he is no longer CEO, but still involved and drawing a large salary) as I listened to Malala Yousufzai, addressing the UN Youth Assembly on the subject of education for girls and boys, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The situation calls for cooperation between NGO's and governments and much targeted hard work. Jon Krakauer's book, together with the original Three Cups of Tea, gives an insight into why it has been so hard to make it happen.
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on 6 January 2014
Not an excoriating take-down, but a necessary challenge to the author of 'Three Cups of Tea', who (as has been widely reported, though not as widely as his book has reached) has not been as reliable on the facts or on the administration of the charity he founded as one would wish.
Rather than in a fit of gleeful hero-bashing, the book appears to have been written reluctantly.
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on 3 July 2012
This book wouldn't be very interesting if you hadn't read Three cups of Tea. It's quite a short read and interesting for its de-bunking of the authenticity of Greg Mortensen's book. I enjoyed Three Cups of tea, but an American friend I mentioned it to warned me that there was a certain amount of scandal attaching to the author in the States. The cult of personality is hard to resist and it seems that the original philanthropic idea foundered as so many good intentions do, on the rocks of fame and money. A well documented and seemingly true expose.
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on 14 December 2015
Not with the book but with the exposure of the man I found so inspiring. After many years of dedicated work in Romania and Albania with attendant risks the discovery of a fraud is always a disappointment, a shattered illusion.

I recommend this book for its honesty, it's thoroughly researched material. I would suggest that anyone involved in volunteer charity work read this book to serve as a warning that all may not be what it seems and always to question where you have a doubt.
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on 26 June 2013
Must admit that before I read this I believed everything I read in "Three Cups of Tea" & "Stones into Schools", such that I bought it for a few friends. I thought they were excellent books but I feel kind of let down now. Very interesting how author came to his findings. Must find out wht Greg Mortensen is doing now.
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on 15 December 2013
A damning review of the claims made by Greg Mortenson's books and more organisation. It raises fundamental questions as to where the enormous sums of money raised by Mortenson have been spent, as no accurate financial records exist. Mortenson refused to be interviewed
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on 8 April 2013
For anyone who was moved by Three Cups of Tea, this is a salutary lesson in how easily people's emotions can be manipulated by cavalier operators, of whom Greg Mortenson is a shocking example.
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on 10 July 2013
Glad I read this. Nothing's more despicable than someone gaining money behind the ruse of raising it for charitable works and not actually using the money to do the good work described.
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on 18 March 2015
I knew nothing about the subject matter of this book but was intrigued. I enjoyed this book a lot and have read other by this author.
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