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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
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The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban?s backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual?s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan?s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools?especially for girls?that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson?s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

Customer Reviews:

  • Wonderfully Affirming
    This book was a wonderful affirmation of hard work and dedication. I think that the take away message is to follow your dreams and work for the betterment of humankind.

    A must read for any teacher or someone working with children. I look forward to future publications about Mr. Mortenson. ...more info
  • Excellent
    I picked up this book at a friend's recommendation who had attended a literature class where the instructor said "If you have not read Three Cups of Tea, you are illiterate." I took it as a challenge and ordered the book.

    I have very little time for reading with two little ones, but I couldn't put this book down. It is an excellent resource for understanding Eastern culture, religion, causes of extremist jihadists, importance of education, universal emotions and goals of people despite cultural differences, and insights into America's involvement and need for change in the war post 9-11. I felt I was not getting a slant from someone with an agenda, but a genuine account of Greg Mortenson's experiences. I found it more insightful than any news media coverage of the middle east or the War on Terror we have conducted through the past decade.
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  • a proper non-profit
    Often in the past I've been reluctant to donate money to organizations. You never can know for sure if your money is going to good or if 95% of it is going to staff salaries and useless meetings without any physical progress. This book proves that CAI is an organization to be proud of. I feel as if I'll know exactly what my money is going to when I donate to them. After seeing the countless examples in the book of ways that Greg Mortenson continues to put the needs of the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan before his own needs, I have no doubt in the resourcefulness and efficacy of CAI.

    I'm a college senior set to graduate next month. I'll soon be going from a meager college student's income of about 10K a year to an entry level college graduate's income of 30-45K a year. With that extra money that I "can obviously live without", I will fund at least 1 entire school all on my own, at age 23. It would be a school that would educate students for years to come. Reading this book has shown me that I can actually do something real to help and given me the trust in an organization to which I will meet that goal....more info
  • Awesome Mortenson is a Fantabulous School Builder!!!!
    Three Cups of Tea is a remarkable book and can be enjoyed by anyone. Though I believe that the wording and setting is for an older crowd, the story line can touch the hearts of anyone, even children. It is a true story and it is moving how much one man cares about so many people. Told in the 3rd person, Three Cups of Tea is the story of Greg Mortenson who, in a failed attempt at climbing K2, stumbles upon a small village called Khorpe. In seeing how little they have, he decides to build them a school, considering that they don't have one. He later goes on to build about 50 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is amazing how much one man can do in a small amount of time that will help a village forever. It is a small sacrifice, buying supplies and such, but it will educate generations to come, which Mortenson believes is the real triumph. This book also discusses some of his personal life but I feel that the main part of the story is the part that makes a person think, that makes a difference.
    I think that Mortenson is an incredible character, a true hero. I myself look up to him because of all the things he's done for so many other people. It is different working within your own community, what I feel is amazing is the fact that he can do these great things for people half way around the world. I think that writing this book encourages people to do something, anything at all, and if not it gets people to think. The sole criticism I have of this book is that I wish that the book was told in the 1st person. I feel that then you would be able to not only see what a great man he is to the world, but also thoughts he has while he is doing this. I think that if it was told from his point of view you would feel more connected to him instead of feeling like he is so far away. But what I love about this book is that he is human. Sometimes you think that any human is incapable of doing such, but as this happens you get a glimpse of he's feelings. This is why I would prefer the book to be in the 1st person. I feel that this is an astounding book that inspires people to do things. In this book we see how much we are capable just that we haven't figured it out yet.
    He's hotmazing!!-E.D.L.C....more info
  • Inspiring book!
    Great message of how to improve nations through educating its people. Very inspiring what Greg Mortensen has done and continues to do. ...more info
  • Hear the message. not the words
    This is the only time I have ever given a book a rating of 5 stars even though I thought the writing needed work. At times the writing got on my nerves and I put the book down for a few weeks. I am so glad that I picked it back up. The story and the images that come to mind were so powerful that I immediately went to the website to see how I could help this cause. Absolutely moving! Please read this book. ...more info
  • The seeds of peace
    I believe that the path to peace starts with possession. This includes the posession of knowledge, the posession of shelter and nourishment, the posession of a life that offers hope to one's children.

    Without possessing good things in life, and the resulting fear of losing them, people are increasingly capable of atrocities.

    Following this thought to its logical conclusion, I believe that we will only achieve world peace through the spread of an ever improving standard of living for all - and universal education is key to achieving this.

    In Three Cups of Tea, you will be introduced to a hero who believes that education is the key to self actualization and the ability to obtain a better life. You will also follow the amazing and compelling story of our hero's efforts to bring universal education to some of the poorest and most dangerous regions of the world, to some of the most education deprived people.

    This book reinforced my conviction that reaching out and helping people help themselves is the best path to peace. This book will resound with those of you who share this belief. And everyone will find it to be a good read....more info
  • One person can make a difference.
    After both reading this book, Mom and Dad passed it along to me to read. It explains the vast differences between American and Muslim culture, but also shows that with a little education, we can change the way other cultures view us. Ignorance is not bliss. Wonderful story that makes you feel a little guilty that you're not doing more for others....more info
  • Most Unforgetable Read
    Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It is the true story of an American young man, the author Greg, who climbed Mt. Everest in the Himalayas and became disoriented, lost, and nearly died on his return trek. He was found by a local man, whose family nursed him in their poor hovel, until he could return home. When he asked how he could thank them, the local people replied, "Help us get a school for our children, who sit in the cold on the ground and scratch lessons in the dirt with a stick when a visiting teacher can come." Greg, who had sold everything to make the trek in the Himalayas, promised to try but had no idea how he would accomplish this. He returned to his work as a nurse in an American hospital, begged and saved every penny he could, suffered great deprivations and struggles, always determined to fulfill his promise to the people who saved him. With no knowledge of how to go about getting funds, building supplies, nor how to build any building, Greg accomplishes his goal years later. The book, although rather disjointedly written, is an amazing true saga of desperate needs, personal struggles, unbelievable sacrifice and determination, and amazing fulfillment of promises, over and over again. You will not be able to put this book down, nor will you ever forget it. Greg has shown us the way to World Peace, one school at a time, if only the governments and war mongers of the world would see this. DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK! ...more info
  • Came around in the end
    I didn't like this book as I read it but, despite my frustration with the quality of the writing and with Mortenson's blunders (which to an anthropologist felt even more inexcusable), I did eventually finish it and ended up being impressed - and inspired - by Mortenson's perseverence.
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  • Education is the Way to Peace
    Greg Mortenson's true climb to greatness was discovering that an education is the seed ground for peace. His enduring faithfulness to his mission transformed the world one child at a time. As a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity I was schooled to become a teacher. I look forward to reading historical accounts of these schools by the students themselves....more info
  • A must read! An exceptional book!!!
    This will always be one of my favorite books. It's an incredible story that is well told. Very inspirational and uplifting! It touches your heart, and restores your faith in humanity if it was ever lacking. I'll be buying this one for Christmas and birthday presents!! ...more info
  • Incredible story, shameful writing
    With a story this incredible, it's surprising they couldn't find (or afford?) a higher-quality author to tell it. I couldn't even finish the book for the annoyance of the bad writing, so instead I read interviews and snippets off websites describing the work Greg et al. have done. I've found that venue more interesting and real than trying to plough through 200+ pages of poorly written sludge. It's shameful the writing doesn't live up to the work done by Greg and the CAI....more info
  • A must read
    This book is a must read for every adult interested in knowing what is happening in the international world. The true stories of Greg Mortensen are exciting and inspiring -- and his altruistic endeavors should prod us all to help others in this less fortunate country of Afghanistan -- expecially the gender that is supressed and denied educational opportunities. Greg Mortensen is a world hero....more info
  • A Five Star Read for All
    This book was fascinating, well- written and educational. My husband and I both read it and enjoyed it immensely. If you have a social conscience and a sense of adventure, you will not be able to put it down. It is honestly written with no sensationalism which is very refreshing. We think that everyone should read this book! ...more info
  • How to defeat Terror, you ask?? Why, just pull up a chair, join hands, and sing KUMBAYA, MY LORD, KUMBAYA around the campfire!!!
    It is inexcusably shocking that Three Cups of Tea has received such mindlessly fawning, near-unanimous praise when one considers the actual slant, content and message of the book--removed from the repulsive, vague and feel-good platitude/fantasy idea of "promoting peace," you understand--is actually unimpressive, demonstrably wrong and very censurable. The gist of this extremely untrustworthy book is--now, take a deep breath, everyone, all those of you who value basic reasoning skills, that is--that terrorism can be lessened or defeated in the Middle East IF and only IF the non-existent world community bands together in something resembling a nauseating socialist utopia and starts building schools (yeah, I know the book's gist sounds asinine and laughable so far, but I swear, it's true!) for primarily Muslim GIRLS in poverty-stricken areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To that, this intellectually honest reviewer says,"Hehe...hoho...haha!"

    So MUCH is incorrigibly and demonstrably incorrect in that theme of the book--which, by extension, is also the mission of the author, Greg Mortensen, and his equally deluded organization called the Central Asia Institute--that it will take a whole encyclopedia to reprimand Mortensen's delusional idiocy and pollyana view of the world, but I'll give it a try nonetheless!

    The ideologically stubborn slant with which Mortensen has written the book--or, perhaps, I should indict his co-author, one David Oliver Relin, for being a Mortensen sycophant who himself admits in the introduction that his own work is compromised with EXTREME BIAS in favor of Mortensen to be of any use--is one firmly rooted in the liberal philosophy of dovish appeasement instead of reality! As such it's completely useless as a book from which to glean any value--you know, exactly like the Barack Hussein Obama trip to the Summit of the Americas was useless, as he practiced dovish appeasement to be used by Hugo Chavez to give credence to a virulently anti-American book in Open Veins by Eddie Galeano. The misguided, liberal thinking of Mortensen would find severe approval in the B. Hussein Obama administration because it's based on a self-hating belief that the US should "do more" to create goodwill in the Muslim world and naively hope that this will be enough to stop or reduce future terrorism! As if!!!!

    In so believing, the disgraceful author is discrediting successful, US foreign policy initiatives that the US military has carried out in the last few years (and also discrediting the US military, that jerk!), such as the liberation of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, where 50-plus million Muslims were granted the chance to govern themselves. This is already the true and verifiable measure of US goodwill for the Muslim world, and if the ideologically ferocious author refuses to see that, then he's playing right into the hands of the terrorists, mister!

    At this point, readers of this propaganda book will more than likely be scorning my correct point of view--because they have no use for superior, opposite viewpoints--but this is irrelevant to me, since my main concern is merely to educate the liberal savages on the incorrigible error of their ways that is outlined so notoriously well in this book.

    The second unpardonable error Mortensen and Relin commit is their primitive and laughably discreditable belief that poverty and lack of education in the Muslim world are a driver of anti-American terrorism. From many, different examples of where Muslim terrorists have originated in the past, we see this to be 100% FALSE. For furthering this discreditable viewpoint, both Mortensen and Relin deserve me wagging my self-righteous finger at them while saying to them in a tone befitting a parent scolding their little child, "Shame on you, authors! Just...SHAME ON YOU!" Remember the terrorist attacks that occurred in the UK in 2007? Well, if you're liberal, you probably read Daily Kos exclusively for your fix of apparent news, so you likely missed this. No sweat; I'll fill you in, junior! On June 30, 2007, two Muslim men--Bilal Abdullah and the now-late Kafeel Ahmed--were guilty of a conspiracy to blow up the Glasgow Airport by driving their nifty Jeep Cherokee loaded with propane gas into the airport! Sadly, the now-late Kafeel Ahmed is no longer with us, but his life was not poverty-based nor undereducated: he was an engineer studying for a PhD and whose parents were doctors! Bilal Abdullah was himself a doctor, and his dad, GASP!, was a doctor, too, oh my!

    Let me sum up this killer revelation to all the sheeple-liberals who hang on the stupid and discreditable message of this sh*m-book: Your little Three Cups of Tea book is shamed and disproved by my little 2007 Glasgow Terror Attack citation alone! Mortensen and Relin assert that terrorism can be reduced by helping Muslims out of poverty and educating them, but what about the Muslim terrorists like the aforementioned who are educated and from rich backgrounds, huh? You liberals lapping up this book shamefully have no defense here! So, let me laugh in your faces for discrediting your book to you in such a stunningly logical manner: Haha...hehe...hoho, you silly libs.

    Next, the authors strike out once more when doubtfully asserting that building schools PRIMARILY FOR MUSLIM GIRLS is the way to go in terms of reducing terrorism in the Middle East...total BS! See, the majority of Muslims who are terrorists...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...are MEN! Alright, after this second, jarring revelation of mine to educate you liberal ignoramuses, you must be stunned and not ready to comprehend immediately, so I'll be a nice guy yet again and connect the dots on your behalf! See, if primarily Muslim girls are the beneficiaries of the author's Central Asia Institute's efforts to build schools, then who's going to ensure that the Muslim boys get an education and not descend into terrorism, huh?! Definitely NOT the authors, for they're convinced--insanely!--that apparently Muslim girls are the majority of terrorists on this planet! What the hell? Do these authors not read the news? Have they even ever taken a geopolitical course?

    The last affront--and bear with me, gang, for I know how taxing it's been tediously listing the relentless sins of this book that is lapped up widely by the liberals and made to look as though it's perfect in message--is that the central theme of this book about building schools and reducing poverty has been 110% DISESTABLISHED by both GW Bush and Barack Hussein Obama! Yes, both the Republican administration and the current Dem one are in agreement that to reduce terrorism, you have to...wait for it...wait for it, liberals...kill terrorists by using the US military. Such a concept is foreign to liberals, I know, so, again, I will gently educate them as to why this book's central theme has already been disestablished.

    If anything, the noble US military and principled leaders like GW Bush have proven that there's only one way to effectively deal with terrorists: send the US military to where they are and kill them! THE END. This has been proven in Iraq--where countrywide peace has basically broken out due to the aftermath of the successful Surge ordered by Bush but opposed by the chronically poor-judging Barry Hussein Obama (which is why the liberal MSM doesn't report on Iraq anymore at all!)--and is currently being proven in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, where this deceitful and gullible author claims that building schools and reducing poverty exclusively for MUSLIM GIRLS will reduce terror, Hussein Obama agrees with Bush that fighting terror needs to be done exclusively by the US military! In case the acolyte liberals worshipping this book missed it, Obama ordered a c*pycat mini-surge of his own last month when he ordered about 17000 troops to Afghanistan to...wait for it libs...wait for it...help kill terrorists!!! Even Obama--a hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool appeaser and negotiator with terrorists--realizes that in Afghanistan, you can't build schools for Muslim girls and expect to crush terror there, NO! Even Obama is probably laughing at the asinine conclusion of this overly dovish book because he hears US commanders telling him, "Sir, building schools doesn't work in terms of reducing terror. The only thing that works is to bring the US military into the theater and kill terrorists." Amen to that.
    ...more info
  • A shining light amidst the darkness
    What a great and inspiring book. Greg shows us all that each of us who follows our heart will be a shining light. He, by example shows what one determined and dedicated individual can accomplish. The spirit of these, too often, forgotten people shines through every page as a beacon of hope for all of us. In deep gratitude, Sheila Radha Conrad www.lifemasteryskills.com...more info
  • Excellent
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I believed the story to be factual and sincere and that Greg Mortenson is a remarkable caring individual....more info
  • Inspiring
    My mom sent me this book, because I'm soon to head to Afghanistan for work. Whenever my mom sends me a book my initial reaction is always ... "sigh." I couldn't have been more wrong, and this book was quite the pleasant surprise. Greg Mortenson's story is amazing, and as several people state in the book, he is a true American hero. Greg's approach to our military being important, but not always having the complete answer, and certainly not the answer to long term movement towards peace couldn't have leveled my thoughts and ideas about world politics more. I am always skeptical of charities, as I want to make sure my money is actually going to help individuals. After reading this book I plan to invest in the CAI. May we all realize that a lack of education is usually the root of most problems not just in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but all over the world ... even in the U.S. Carry on Greg, and I highly recommend this read!...more info
  • Fantastic book. Everyone should read it.
    It's not great literature. Some of the writing is very pedestrian. It plods along at first.
    None of that matters. This is a man who made a difference in a big way against impossible odds. He deserves our support. I wish there were more of him. The book makes the case that what he has accomplished is much more impressive than a successful climb of K2 would have been, and that is accurate. ...more info
  • Phenomenal and inspiring
    Tom Brokaw is wrong. Greg Mortenson is NOT an ordinary person. A son of missionaries who spoke fluent Swahili and English, had a special needs sister, became a mountaineer while practicing as a nurse, has an unusual gift for languages and keeps his promises to people who live on the other side of the world? I dunno...he sounds like an angel to me. And I have to say that of all the years that I've been shopping on Amazon, this book is only the second one that I've reviewed because people NEED to know his story. Thank you Greg Mortenson and David Relin!...more info
  • the forgotton people
    This was a rewarding story to read--about committment and trust between two very different cultures. Expertly written, an example of God working through a few people without it expressly saying it....more info
  • An Enlightening and Enjoyable Read
    Great insight into the way of life, sensitivities, culture, similarities and differences in this region of the world, presented in clarity in an adventurous piece of supurb writing; a truly enjoyable read....more info
  • Many Reasons to Read This Book
    There are so many reasons to read this book: the easeful informative relevancy (Pakistan, Taliban, Muslim lifestyles, women's rights); the inspiration and joy of learning about what just one person can accomplish for the good of many, with just how it was that he did that; and the humor and kindness that is to be encountered throughout the book, both in David Oliver Relin's page-turning presentation and in Greg Mortenson's personality and adventurous failures and successes. The book also shows what it is to effectively, in fact beautifully, interact with people as a Westerner in the Muslim world. All of these aspects together provide a hugely welcome gift of positivity amidst the usual hopeless negativity that is available in most of what we read about troubles in the world today. There is good reason that this book has been so long on bestseller lists....more info
  • 3 cups of tea book
    I received the product in good condition and in the time allowed. I was satisfied with the shipping and packaging of the book as well....more info
  • One of my all time favorites
    This was so good, I bought copies for all my sisters and several girlfriends as a Mother's Day gift. Beautifully written and inspiring!...more info
  • An inspiring choice to fighting terrorism
    This book is not only inspiring in the "every person can make a big difference" way, but it also helps explain how complicated and delicate the issues of extreme Muslims and terrorism in otherwise peaceful contries is. A balanced education for all children and especially for girls is the key, and this book shows us how to do that. As a result of this book, I now donate every month to the Central Asia Institute because it seems to be the only peaceful way to end terrorism....more info