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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to…
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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a… (2006)

by Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,765434296 (3.84)542
  1. 40
    Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof (rosylibrarian)
  2. 40
    Little Princes by Conor Grennan (TooBusyReading)
  3. 52
    Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way by Jon Krakauer (BookWallah, TooBusyReading)
    BookWallah: Are you willing to hear the other side of this story... warning this is not pretty.
    TooBusyReading: I think it is important to read both sides of the story.
  4. 63
    Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson (Furu, BookWallah, coclimber)
    BookWallah: If you are one of the few people in the USA that missed Greg's first (Three Cups of Tea) book you should make amends and rush to read this one.
  5. 31
    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books contain personal accounts of experiences in the highest moutains of the world.
  6. 20
    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba (cmbohn)
    cmbohn: Both talk about how education changes lives for the better and how any sacrifice is worth it to receive an education.
  7. 31
    Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (spacepotatoes)
  8. 21
    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Pferdina, cee2, Othemts)
  9. 10
    Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler (spacepotatoes)
  10. 10
    Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway (kelleykl)
  11. 10
    Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq by Chris Coppola (jlink)
  12. 00
    Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town by Warren St. John (JGoto)
    JGoto: Inspirational account of a young woman reaching refugee boys through soccer.
  13. 00
    Seasons of Sand by Ernst Aebi (Scotland)
  14. 00
    Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village by Sarah Erdman (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: Both books are humanitarian in nature, and both offer glimpses of Non-Western cultures.
  15. 11
    Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (cougar_c)
    cougar_c: From one middle east country to the another - what "Three Cups of Tea" and "Mornings in Jenin" have in common is they show the human side of people trapped in a conflict.
  16. 02
    A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (Othemts)
  17. 02
    Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy (Othemts)
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» See also 542 mentions

English (430)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (436)
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)

I mentioned many of my deeper thoughts on this book in a previous post. My mom bought me this book so, thanks, mom! But she has no idea the hare-brained ideas I get from reading these books.

Mortenson is impressive. He is driven with a singular purpose-- build schools, primarily for girls, where there are no schools other than radical Islamic madrasas.

One overall message I get from this book (and that Mortenson got to deliver to the Pentagon and Congress) is that the only way to win the war on terror is to build trust and promote education. Dropping bombs that sometimes kill civilians only serves to alienate people and deepen their resentment of the West. If the only American a rural Afghan sees is one carrying lethal weapons then we've lost the war on terror. Mortenson saw too many students in his rural villages become "collateral damage."

At one point the Pentagon offers to give Mortenson millions of dollars, covertly through off-shore accounts, to build schools. But he declines because the attachment to the military was too big a risk to take. I had read previous interviews and op-eds by Mortenson before reading this book, which had already shaped my views on the war. But the book isn't about the war, it's about improving the outcomes of thousands of kids that had either been neglected or forgotten.

Questions I asked while reading this book:
Why hadn't anyone done this before?
Why didn't the government build schools?
Why didn't private charities, Islamic or otherwise, or other NGOs build these schools?
Why didn't the locals, who built their own houses and often shared the wealth of the village, build these schools?

I think the villages didn't build these schools themselves because they had more pressing needs, or it was seen as a somewhat wasteful use of materials and labor. It took an outsider to put up the capital for the new investment to take place. And it took a commitment of ongoing funds from Mortenson's foundation to pay the teachers and provide supplies-- without which the buildings would be worthless. In some cases, maybe the idea had never occurred to them. Many were used to the idea that their children would never be able to compete with children from larger towns, so it never occurred to them to try.

Mortenson found ways to build these schools cheaper than the World Bank, the local governments, or an NGO ever could. There was basically no red tape for him.

I'd like to read his sequel.

4 stars out of 5. You have to assume the profound statements the locals make throughout the book, sometimes in uneducated English, were properly understood/translated. And you know they were edited for clarity. Sometimes assuming Mortenson somehow (almost magically) had the language skills to properly translate was a bit of a stretch of faith for me. But I trust the authors strove for accuracy and authenticity. It's an amazing story. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
This book is fabulous! Everyone should read it. Inspiring, uplifting story of how ONE person CAN make a difference.
  mfdavis | May 20, 2015 |
Five stars for inspiration and subject matter, two and half for flat writing. It's good to read it just to see how God can use one man to make a difference in many lives. ( )
  Hae-Yu | May 12, 2015 |
Once I got into it, I really liked this book. Amazing, hopeful. ( )
  NoelleGreene | Mar 18, 2015 |
Once I got into it, I really liked this book. Amazing, hopeful. ( )
  NoelleGreene | Mar 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)
This is a wonderful book that gives the reader an unprecedented and very personal insight into a people that I had no knowledge of before reading it.
added by mikeg2 | editWaterBridge Reviews, Alma Lee (Mar 20, 2007)
 
Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly
 
"Answering by delivering what his country will not, Mortenson is "fighting the war on terror the way I think it should be conducted," Relin writes. This inspiring, adventure-filled book makes that case admirably."
added by Shortride | editKirkus Review
 
"The story of how this happened is a cliffhanger as well as an first-hand introduction to the people and places of a region little understood by most Americans. The subtitle, "One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations . . . One School at a Time," underscores the motivation behind his work."
added by cvosshans | editBookBrowse, Washington Times - Ann Geracimos
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Mortensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Relin, David Olivermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawlor, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
to Irvin "Dempsey" Mortenson, Barry "Barrel" Bishop and Lloyd Henry Relin for showing us the way, while you were here
First words
The little red light had been flashing for five minutes before Bhangoo paid it any attention. "The fuel gages on these old aircraft are notoriously unreliable," Brigadier General Bhangoo, one of Pakistan's most experienced high-altitude pilots, said, tapping. I wasn't sure if that was meant to make me feel better.
Quotations
The only way we can defeat terrorism is if people in this country where terrorists exist learn to respect and love Americans...and if we can respect and love these people here. What's the difference between them becoming a productive local citizen or a terrorist? I think the key is education.
Your President Bush has done a wonderful job of uniting one billion Muslims against America for the next two hundred years. (Pakastani Brigadier General Bashir Baz)
Osama, baah!...The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever. (Pakastani Brigadier General Bashir Baz)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
One wrong turn in Pakistan's K2 mountain range changes the life of one man and all whom he encounters.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143038257, Paperback)

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."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

One man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia: in 1993 Greg Mortenson was an American mountain-climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of a Pakistani village, he promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time--Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban. In a region where Americans are often feared and hated, he has survived kidnapping, death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself--at last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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