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

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
9,589428301 (3.85)529
  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 529 mentions

English (424)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (430)
Showing 1-5 of 424 (next | show all)
I resisted this book for a long time despite the appeal of its topic, largely because of its popularity as a book club book. And we all know I'm a snob like that, despite my claiming of the bookslut title. Anyway, when Tava sent me a copy, it erased most of my excuses not to read it.

I'm very glad I finally did read it. The author, through a chance encounter, develops a relationship with the people of a small, remote village in Pakistan, and pledges to build them a school. This, despite his limited income, working only enough as a nurse to finance his many mountain-climbing expeditions, incredibly limited contacts, and complete lack of fundraising experience. Still, he somehow succeeds, and goes on to build dozens of schools, despite the opposition of corrupt local organizers and mullahs, a kidnapping at gunpoint, wars and rapidly changing political climates. What he accomplishes is truly amazing, though it makes the rise of violent Islamic factions toward the end of the book all the more depressing.

Highly recommended to anyone who wants to better understand what's going on in the region, and to anyone who believes in the power of education. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
interesting travel story. hope those parts were true! ( )
  mahallett | Aug 5, 2014 |
A fascinating story but not as well told as it deserves. The style is like a Sunday supplement article and it really deserves a more sensitive treatment. It seems to paint Greg Mortensen more as a cardboard hero at times. Still, a very inspiring and good read.

(post revelations notes: I'd like to say I saw all along that it was a fake but I didn't. I had a few moments when I wondered about the story but I basically swallowed it; hook, line, and sinker.)
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
An humanitarian adventure story. Inspiring in the sense that you will wonder what you've been doing with your life while Greg Mortenson has been out climbing mountains and building schools, especially schools for girls, in the Karakoram Mountain villages of Pakistan (Baltistan) and across the border in Afghanistan. ( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
I finished Three Cups of Tea, which I enjoyed tremendously, I think for two primary reasons. First, it takes place in a part of the world that fascinates me; second, it’s about a person of ordinary means who ends up doing quite extraordinary things.

I loved that Mortenson flailed about at first. I loved that he made mistakes, but kept on trying. It means that **I** can flail about and make mistakes. I can go about something in all the wrong way, discover my error, and try again.

What impressed me most about him was his determination not only to keep his first promise, to the people in that first village, but to other people he happens to meet. The indefatigableness with which he tackles keeping his word wins him amazing respect. And he himself treats everyone he meets with sincere respect.

For instance, there’s the time he goes to give a fundraising talk at a giant sporting goods store. He’s been interviewed on the local college radio station and put up flyers, but when the time comes to do his talk, no one is there. Two off-duty employees sit down to listen, and he manages to get a guy who’s browsing all-weather watches to sit down and listen, too, by meeting the guy’s eyes and smiling. After the talk, when he’s picking up all the pamphlets he’d left on the chairs, the two employees—young guys—come up to him. One offers him the ten-dollar bill that he’d been saving for weekend drinking, and Mortenson thanks him with sincere gratitude. The other guy asks if there’s any way he could go over and volunteer his labor, and Mortenson has to tell him that his organization doesn’t have the money to send him over, but he tells him about other organizations that could use him. So even in defeat, he’s gracious and generous—which makes it all the more like divine reward when, on the chair where the man shopping for watches had been sitting, he finds a check for $20,000, made out to his organization.

Or there’s the time he has offered to help a reporter get a story on the Kashmir conflict, and the reporter happens to be present when the first female graduate of Mortenson’s first school walks into a meeting of village men at which Mortenson is present and reminds him, in front of all of them, that he’s promised to help her fund the rest of her education. She wants to be a doctor. When the reporter sees that, he decides to do his story on Mortenson and his mission instead of the Kashmir conflict, and it runs in Parade magazine. The story generates so much mail for Mortenson and his organization that his local post office in Montana puts it in canvas sacks for him to take home. Mortenson reports that only one letter out of all that mail was negative.

There’s a sequel out, Stones into Schools. I’d like to read that at some point, too. And, for those who are interested, here is a link to Mortenson’s organization, the Central Asia Institute. ( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 424 (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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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.
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)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:50 -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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