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Three Cups of Tea Paperback – Jan 30 2007

126 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Jan. 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143038257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143038252
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.1 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

On a 1993 expedition to climb K2 in honor of his sister Christa, who had died of epilepsy at 23, Mortenson stumbled upon a remote mountain village in Pakistan. Out of gratitude for the villagers' assistance when he was lost and near death, he vowed to build a school for the children who were scratching lessons in the dirt. Raised by his missionary parents in Tanzania, Mortenson was used to dealing with exotic cultures and developing nations. Still, he faced daunting challenges of raising funds, death threats from enraged mullahs, separation from his family, and a kidnapping to eventually build 55 schools in Taliban territory. Award-winning journalist Relin recounts the slow and arduous task Mortenson set for himself, a one-man mission aimed particularly at bringing education to young girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Readers interested in a fresh perspective on the cultures and development efforts of Central Asia will love this incredible story of a humanitarian endeavor. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
In Pakistan's Karakoram, bristling across an area barely one hundred miles wide, more than sixty of the world's tallest mountains lord their severe alpine beauty over a witnessless high-altitude wilderness. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

235 of 240 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 30 2007
Format: Paperback
Do you like to read heroic tales of overcoming daunting odds to achieve great things? Do you believe that we are past the age of heroes? If you answered yes to either question, you need to read Three Cups of Tea immediately!

Here's the overview of this book. Greg Mortenson was a determined mountain climber on his way back from challenging K2, one of the world's highest and most dangerous peaks in the Himalayas, when he lost his way. He was exhausted from just having helped in the all-but-impossible rescue of one of his fellow climbers. As a result of the second of his mistakes in leaving the so-called trail, Mortenson found himself needing help in a Balti village in Pakistan that he had never heard of, Korphe. The villagers nursed him back to health, and Mortenson began listening to their grievances against the Pakistan government which supported an on-going conflict with India over Kashmir, but did not provide a school for their children. The grateful Mortenson promised to build them a school.

Many people make such promises, but few fulfill them. Mortenson headed back to California and raised the $12,000 he estimated it would take to build the school. With the money in hand, he flew back to Pakistan and started buying supplies. Arriving at the village, his new Balti friends reminded him that there was no bridge to transport the supplies to the village. Mortenson headed back to raise the money for the bridge.

After many more trials, the school was built and a teacher installed. Mortenson had found his life work. He wanted to provide schools for all of the Pakistani children who didn't get an education, especially the girls, who were more likely to stay in their villages and improve living conditions. Everything was difficult. Pakistanis didn't trust him.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jane Brody on Feb. 17 2008
Format: Paperback
I have been a voracious reader from a very young age. However, I must say that Greg Mortenson's story, presented so eloquently in "Three Cups of Tea", is without a doubt one of the most inspirational and moving books I've ever read. His heart, wisdom, and profound knowledge base could transform our world if people were willing to take his message to heart. He presents an avenue toward peace
that is both deceptively simple and incredibly accurate. I wish every politician, and all people everywhere, would read this book and I challenge them to defy it's inherent logic. In addition, it is simply a terrific read, and one that I found impossible to put down until I had finished it. The ripples of that experience will extend far into my future. I look forward to the day when Mortenson wins the Nobel Peace Prize that he so richly and undeniably deserves. My life has been forever altered by this book, and I encourage everyone to read it and to continue to spread the profound messages within it's pages.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Gotta love them on Oct. 20 2007
Format: Paperback
I will not write a long review..the first reviewers have done a lofty job. I simply want to tell you all that this book may very well change your life, and will definitely change the way you see "the enemy". Mortenson's insight into the inner workings of the area's tribes, leaders, and people will make you realize just how much we are, indeed, in this world together looking for common human experiences, and goals. Do read this book and I belive you too will be telling everyone you know that they may miss an incredible read if they do not give it a try. I plan on sending a few out as Xmas gifts to my "wordly" friends.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lee & Stephen Hindrichs on Jan. 22 2008
Format: Paperback
Taken to heart this book can have as profound an influence on the war on terrorism as Uncle Tom's Cabin did on the institution of slavery. This book can be celebrated on many levels. First, it's a great read if for no other reason its worth buying for that reason alone. But this story has other merits. It is these other merits that will push it into the history books as a impetus for peace.
Greg Mortenson's work in Pakistan and Afghanistan building schools for the education of both girls and boys combats lives of poverty and the sewing of the seeds of terrorism. Education provides a countries' children with the tools to improve their lives more than just financially. Balanced education and the ability to think elevates them beyond superstition and propaganda. The extremists in the middle east who scream for jihad run the madrassas. They offer education as well but for boys only and these students are instilled with a hatred of the west and a call to holy war. Greg Mortenson gives us a way that can make peace. Within the boundaries of Pakistan and Afghanistan his work is respected far more than anything done by the US or it's allies.
The pages in Three Cups of Tea also bring to life this foreign land allowing a stranger a glimpse into this other world that impacts our own so strongly. In finishing this book this reader has come away with a greater understanding of the hearts of the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan far beyond what I have ever gleaned from the news or political commentary.
This book is not a call to arms but a call to pencils. After all the pen is mightier than the sword and with determination and support of a hero like Greg Mortenson maybe peace is possible.
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