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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
11,994484419 (3.77)587
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)
  1. 40
    Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof (rosylibrarian)
  2. 40
    Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan (TooBusyReading)
  3. 62
    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: A Memoir in Books 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 587 mentions

English (480)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (486)
Showing 1-5 of 480 (next | show all)
Wonderful story of one man's pursuit of education for girls in some of the more remote villages on earth. Inspiring. ( )
  mcorbink | Nov 16, 2021 |
" Last month, an investigation from 60 Minutes and writer Jon Krakauer found that Three Cups of Teaauthor Greg Mortenson, the raffish philanthropist and founder of 170 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, had fabricated parts of his amazing backstory. Worse, 60 Minutes visited 30 of the schools supposedly built by his Central Asia Institute and found half empty or unsupported by the nonprofit. More stories of “ ghost schools” emerged after the program aired.

The Three Cups of Tea scandal has led to soul-searching and anger among charitable givers and recipients. Nonprofits are scrambling to better account for their dollars. Aid workers in the region are grumbling about the crass imperialist narrative that helped popularize CAI, with a heroic First World dude swooping in to rescue Third World kids.

But the most important lesson of the scandal, and one that hasn’t gotten any attention, is something entirely different. It is a lesson that applies not just to Mortenson’s organization but also to charities that are much-better run: Stop building schools. Or rather, it is a mistake to devote much money or attention to constructing physical school buildings. Throwing up structures is simple. Educating children is a much more complex, expensive, and necessary goal." Anne Lowrey
1 vote sundayat7 | Nov 2, 2021 |
Before I get started, I just want to say that no review I could ever write ever would ever portray how much this book sucked for me. To me, Three Cups of Tea is the perfect embodiment and representation of the most tragically horrible book I've ever read.
In fact, for you today, I'm going to make a list of the 10 most tragic things in Three Cups of Tea.
  wardha.khalid | Oct 18, 2021 |
In 1993 the author drifted into an impoverished Pakistan village. Moved by the villagers' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Over the next decade, 55 schools were built--especially for girls. The author's story is about a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of humanitarian spirit.
  BLTSbraille | Oct 8, 2021 |
I read this book many years ago - 1990s I think. I never read the sequel because I think by the time I became aware of the sequel, the scandal had already broken about how 3 cups was a total lie. I do remember liking the first book - 3 cups. I had no reason not to believe it at that time. I am unsure how to rate it now, since I know i enjoyed it, when I did not know it was a total lie. I dont know how i feel about it now. So I think I will give it 2 stars - and treat it as if this book were just a novel. If it had been true then I would have given it 4 or 5 stars. ( )
1 vote Robloz | Sep 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 480 (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
 
"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
 
"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
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mortenson, Gregprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Relin, David Olivermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawlor, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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