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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote

A book by Greg Mortenson.

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A Discussion Americans Need to Have

  • Nov 17, 2008
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This is a long 350-pages, which I feel can be summed up very briefly: Education is the key to world peace. The story of Greg Mortenson is worth reading, as it certainly educates on many fronts. He's a unique, larger-than-life character, who comes across to all those who know him well as "not one of us. He is his own species."

Having made a promise to build a school in the high altitudes of Pakistan shortly after his failed attempt to climb K-2 to spread the ashes of his youngest sister, Mortenson lives for this goal. He's single-minded, determined, and fearless. His efforts to raise funds give new meaning to the term grassroots. But he does succeed in spite of mountainous obstacles put before him. Three Cups of Tea provides every detail of this struggle.

The writing is excellent, although mid-way through I felt as though I were reading a Time magazine article (or perhaps Parade Magazine article is the better choice) that wouldn't end. By mid-book, I found Mortenson--and reading about his outgoing while in Pakistan, yet reclusive while in the States personality frustrating. Although his wife, Tara Bishop, fell in love with him for his passion regarding the school/s project, once they were married (six days after meeting) and she was carrying his child, I resented his apparent recklessness regarding his personal safety in volatile and hostile terrain. My attitude changed after 9-11, however, and how he pleaded with the world to try and see that not all Muslims are terrorists. Learning he received hate mail from many, many Americans after this proclamation, illustrated how much ignorance is out there. It led me to champion his cause in spite of the hardships it brought to his family. His accomplishments are amazing and truly admirable. I was left with the impression that this was not a man merely in search of an extraordinary life, but rather, this is an extraordinary man, who genuinely believed in a noble and worthy cause, and stopped at nothing to see it through.

His meeting with Donald Rumsfeld, then Secretary of Defense--particularly the way he compares and contrasts his meeting/s with Taliban leaders--was especially interesting. Mortenson tries to make the case for Afghanistan civilians, victims of the war (deemed collateral damage), who were forgotten when the American army switched its focus to Iraq. If you want to try and understand how and why the reputation of the United States has suffered around the globe since 9-11, Three Cups of Tea certainly makes its case. 
Three Cups of Tea

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December 18, 2008
I really want to read this based on all the reviews.... is this a true story? or more like based on a true story? Great review...makes me want to read it like RIGHT NOW! I love/hate when people write reviews like that..because it just gets added to a looong list of books to read :) Thanks!
More Three Cups of Tea reviews
review by . July 23, 2010
This is a true story about how a mountain climber having lost his way, is rescued by the people from an obscure and isolated village high in the mountains of Pakistan.  As Greg Mortenson was nursed back to health, the village chief showed him where the children had their school lessons.  It consisted of a bare plot of dirt where they scratched their lessons into the dry soil.  Greg was so moved that he promised he would build them a proper school.  Upon returning to his home …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
Reading this made me feel frustrated and tied in knots because of all the struggles he went through to finally reach his goal.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
Inspiring. I heard Greg Mortenson speak at BYU last year and he is an incredible person.
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
This should be mandatory reading of every high school student. You want to understand this poorly understood part of the world? Here is a good start.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
An amazing true story of a man's unselfishness to help build school's in Afghan and Pakistan
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
I love this concept, this book, and this writer!
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Very inspiring story of Mortenson's journey to change a nation though education.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Wonderful story of a man's trip into the world of poverty who makes a change! Inspiring
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Not the greatest writing, but what a story!!! This guy lives in Bozeman, MT where I went to college and his life story will inspire the hardest heart to do SOMETHING positive for others in need. This guy is someone I truly admire. Bono has nothing on him.
About the reviewer
Michele VanOrt Cozzens ()
Ranked #260
I am the mother of two daughters--a tween and a teen. Need I say more about my current state of mind?
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About this book


Three Cups of Tea is a New York Times bestselling book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin published by Penguin in 2006. The book describes Mortenson's transition from a mountain-climber to a humanitarian committed to reducing poverty and educating girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He did this by co-founding the "Central Asia Institute," which has built over 78 schools in the most remote areas of the countries.

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Books, Book, Cafe Libri, Education, Nonfiction, Politics, History, New York Times Bestsellers, Bestsellers, Ny Times Bestsellers, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Penguin Books, Three Cups Of Tea, David Oliver Relin, Greg Mortenson


ISBN-10: 0143038257 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780143038252 (pbk.)
Author: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Date Published: January, 2007
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