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Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

An inspirational and uplifting story

A story which shows that people around the world are truly good. Whether this book simply makes you realize that you're not as different from your neighbor as your thought or it inspires you to follow your heart to change the world, it's a great read.

posted by SphinxFeathers on November 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

27 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

Not what I was hoping for.

I am an avid reader and love to read about other cultures. I found this book very dull and tedious. It was not really about the culture as the cover hints, but more of an autobiography about a mountain climber who visits that area. Although it does describe the perso...
I am an avid reader and love to read about other cultures. I found this book very dull and tedious. It was not really about the culture as the cover hints, but more of an autobiography about a mountain climber who visits that area. Although it does describe the personality of the people he meets, it does not describe how these people truly live. For example, although it goes on and on about the building of schools for girls, where the lumber and blocks actually come from, you never actually get to 'know' any of these girls or hear their stories. The book is more the author's perception of the people that he meets and the surprising kindness he feels, rather than a voice from a different culture. I found it disappointing.

posted by Anonymous on March 12, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!!!!

    I enjoyed the book. I would recommend the book to anyone.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    Helping people who cant help themselves

    Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is a book about how one man helped many students by building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Greg attempts to climb K2, but fails and was injured. He wandered into a poor village in Pakistan, where he was nursed back to health, however he promised them he would return one day and build a school for them. Building this school led him to co-found CAI, Central Asia institute, who sponsored him in building many more schools throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. He had many challenges with this, such as being captured and having to leave his family for so long, but it educated many students, which helped their villages lessen their poverty. This book teaches people to do things to help others, because it proves that one man really did change the world. I liked this book because of how he helped so many kids and even lessened death rates because he found a way to get them clean water and sanitation. It takes a lot to leave your family to help children millions of miles away, but that is exactly what he did. One thing i didn't like about this book is how it descriptively talked about each school they built, which got repetitive because a lot of it was the same. All people should read this book because it will teach them about poverty in other countries and how more people should care about helping them, because not everyone is fortunate enough to live in America. This was overall a good book that inspires you to live for more than just yourself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    ¿He is fighting the war on terror the way I think it should be conducted: Mortenson goes to war with the root causes of terror every time he offers a student a chance to receive a balanced education, rather than attend an extremist madrassa.¿ Relin

    In memory of Christa, Greg Mortenson's sister, Greg attempts the world's second tallest mountain, K2. However, due to a life-saving rescue of a member of Greg's climbing group, he accepts failure and descends down the threatening mountain into a small village known as Korphe, Pakistan. The compassionate population of Korphe aids Greg and his crew. Greg promises to build a school for the village that kindly takes him in. He has a hard time raising money but eventually a man named Jean Hoerni donates the money to build the school. Greg faces many challenges during the rest of his years to build even MORE schools for the poverty. He was met with death threats from Islamic mullahs, kidnapping, and long periods of time being apart from his family. However, even after all of these misleadings, the results from this one man are spectacular: over 55 schools in Taliban areas to deter kids from extremism with access to education. <BR/><BR/>Education is a prevailing theme in Three Cups of Tea. Greg Mortenson explains in this fascinating novel that education is the answer to eliminating the recruiting of innocents to extremism groups. As Ahmed Rashid says, "Three Cups of Tea is beautifully written. It is also a critically important book at this time in history. The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan are both failing their students on a massive scale. The work Mortenson is doing, providing the poorest students with a balanced education, is making them much more difficult for the extremist madrassas to recruit." Another theme is the everlasting issue of overcoming cultural differences. Greg is often challenged with these differences, though he overcomes all of them in order to achieve his scholastic theory of student enlightenment.<BR/><BR/>I love this book and I will undoubtedly make my kids read this once I have them. I liked it because it give you inspiration and motivation to do something about this uneducated problem. I believe the Christan Science Monitor sums this book up the best, "Laced with drama, danger, romance, and good deeds, Mortenson's story serves as a reminder of the power of a good idea and the strength inherent in one person's passionate determination to persevere against enormous obstacles." I guess my only complaint about this book is that it sometimes went into a bit too much detail due to Co-Author Relin's way of writing, but other than that, this book is a MUST READ.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Inspiring story - poorly written

    Three Cups of Tea is an inspiring, incredible story with an important message that all American leaders should read. I especially appreciate the message of how important girls education is. However, the book needs a thorough editing, and the rambling, over-detailed and high school type writing is distracting from the central message. Our book club of twelve women usually reads fiction books, but we agreed that this was one of the best books we had read in our sixteen year history.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2014

    Sonia K Worthington Three Cups of Tea was a great book and I enj

    Sonia K
    Worthington
    Three Cups of Tea was a great book and I enjoyed it a lot. It showed the true hardships it takes to succeed. It was really interesting learning about what it was like to be on the other side of the country around the time of 9/11. This booked showed that not all Pakistanis and Muslims are terrorists and hated Americans. In fact majority of the Muslims and Pakistanis in Three Cups of Tea  liked Americans and wanted to protect them when they were in Pakistan. I liked that this story had women empowerment and supported education for the poor. One thing that I didn't like about this book is that it took a while for the story to start really moving along. I was also really disappointed that a lot of the book was fabricated and the main character, Greg Mortenson, had taken credit for building schools that never existed or were made by someone else. But other than these two flaws, it was a spectacular story.
    I would definitely recommend this read to adults and teenagers. Anyone can learn from this book because after finishing it you can take away an important lesson. After reading this book I have discovered that even though it doesn't come easy, you can accomplish many things if you put your mind and energy into it. 
    This book is good for high school students because it tells them to keep trying. Three Cups of Tea shows students that they really have to work hard to succeed even though there might be obstacles. By reading this book students can realize you can't quit something just because it gets hard. And that is really important for students to understand this because they can't let one bad grade get to them. They must push through the difficulty just like Greg Mortenson did. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Incredible Story!

    What would happen if we all took action like Greg Mortenson and believed in the good in human souls.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Schools Instead of Bombs

    Three Cups of Tea takes you on a captivating journey, as it follows the life of Greg Mortenson, a dedicated man, who goes against all odds to better the lives of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. After a failed attempt to climb the infamous mountain K2, Mortenson comes upon a poverty stricken village, and learns of the necessity of a school in the area. Dr. Greg, as the native people call him, promises to come back and build one, not knowing what this would lead too. After the trails of trying to find money to build the school, he meets Jean Hoerni, who donates a large amount of money so that Mortenson can fulfill his promise. Greg returns to Pakistan, and builds the school, but not without running into many challenges along the way. Because of this great act of kindness, many other natives ask Mortenson to build schools in their equally impoverished villages. Eventually, Greg along with the help of Hoerni, creates the Central Asia Institute (CAI), whose mission is to build schools all across central Asia, specifically for girls. Mortenson fights against strict Muslims who believe women shouldn't get the opportunity to be educated. While in the process of achieving the CAI's goal, 9/11 occurs, and Greg asserts his belief that we can't fight this war through military brute, and in order to have peace we must improve the children's education. This is the major message of the book, that giving children a good education is more effective in fighting wars than dropping bombs, and if the children start out with a healthy education, they won't be led into the extremist ways of the Taliban. A strong theme throughout the whole book was making opportunities out of adversity. We see this theme constantly when the girls of Pakistan fight against traditional beliefs, and become very successful. We also see this theme when Greg is trying to achieve his goals. I really liked how this book portrayed the Pakistani and Afghan people, going against many stereotypical Americans preconceived notions that all Muslims are terrorists. I also really liked seeing how one ordinary person was able to do so much good in the world. Something else I liked was how it showed what was going on in the Middle East after 9/11, and to be able to see the war through those people's eyes. One thing that I disliked was that the book used words from the native language of the area, and it didn't say what the word meant, making you have to guess its meaning. I would definitely recommend this book to someone. This book makes you want to get out and help, and a book has to be very inspiring in order to do that. My overall rating of this book would be 4.5 stars, because I wasn't able to put this book down and was absorbed throughout the whole thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    Inspiring

    Extremely moving book about one man's efforts to change the world, one school at a time. Gives a glimpse into a world very different from my own. At times, the book dragged, but still a very worthwhile book. I found myself wishing that a good editor had helped Mortenson cut about 40% of his book, which seemed to be repetitive or tangential. Although I admired Mortenson's work, I don't think this book is an accurate portrayal of NGOs. Three Cups of Tea, while a "feel-good" read, does not adequately portray the role of "one man's efforts" in comparison to the accomplishments (and often, not always, greater efficiency) of NGOs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

    A Provocative look at another culture

    I was able to include this book in short reading spurts, as I only had half hr reading increments , without loosing tract of the story . It introduced me to another part of the world that I had no familiarity with . I enjoyed learning about Greg's journey and felt that I got to know the people in the book.Sometimes I had to reread a page to be able to picture what was happening(ie: the large basket that carried one across the divide) I would recommend this book to those interested in humanitarian works in other countries as it shows the difficulties that one can face accomplishing even the smallest of tasks. It is a good read for all ages as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Slow start, great finish

    I thought this book started out slow, but picked up momentum as it went along. The second half of the book was great. The book shows how one person can impact the world. It also shows how education can combat war, hunger, and poverty.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must for Youth and a Lesson in Selflessness

    This may not be the best written book I've ever read but unless you are the spawn of a mechanical device, the message may inspire you. It was uplifting and an inspiration which will leave the reader with hope that the world can be a better place for everyone. It should be read by every member of the Senate and the House. They might learn something.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Read!

    Great adventure story, amazing tale of a man's journey in a world where most would not dare to pursue goals. Also enlightening in this day and age when often our world views are shaped by the media and not personal experience. Interesting and encouraging in relation to humankind!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So surprised...

    I had to read this book for my World History summer reading project. I thought it was going to be dreadful but was soon absorbed in the book. It is amazing and very inspiring... Greg Mortenson is my new hero...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    You can make a difference

    Knowing the story of Greg Mortenson and his work in no way detracted from the fascination of reading it in detail. It just shows what one person can do if they have the determination. This man's journey in some of the most dangerous areas of the world to pursue his dream is inspirational beyond words.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    Three Cups of Tea and What I Thought of It

    This is an endearing story of a mountain climber who failed.Greg Mortenson began his mission trying to climb the second tallest mountain, K2, in remembrance of his sister who died of a seizure, but finds a even better cause after he fails to climb the mountain. He sees that in a remote village, that the kids there can't learn. They have no school to learn in. He begins his mission by raising awarness to earn money to bring back to build schools for all the villages, one by one. In the end he built about 50 schools. This is a true story about a man who could.

    I thought this book had a good moral and a good story, but it's very wordy and I only recommend this book to those who are looking for a challenge. It is a little schetchy on location and time too. I generally thought it was too confusing to get into, unless the chapter had a lot quotes from Greg Mortenson to clarify things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I enjoyed this book. It kept my attention, especially the first half and it was interesting to see how things panned out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2008

    Three Cups of Tea Review for English

    While reading this book, I could definitely tell that Greg (the author) believes that there is a problem in the world with education in small, poor villages. After reading this, it makes me want to go out to the impoverished areas of the world and find and help the small villages that most people haven't even heard of before. I liked how the book put everything in a worldly perspective. It really brings an awareness to issues that should be a concern to people, that can actually go make a difference. It is also very neat that Greg doesn't stop after building one village a school, but he keeps going to end up building over 78 schools since 1996!<BR/><BR/>By: Lauren Walsh

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    I was personally impressed by this read. Most books I pick up ar

    I was personally impressed by this read. Most books I pick up are sat back down very quickly with no desire to pick them back up. But this book hooks the reader and won't let go until you turn the page and you are grabbed again. The book may be uneventful at moments, but if you look at the full purpose of the book, it makes you look in a whole different light. Overall, Greg did a great job at outlining the issues in the world that we’re oblivious to.

    This book is a great read for anyone that is interested in experiencing vivid emotions from a book. It gives great insight to how outsiders would see third-world countries because it is from the perspective of one. Greg has been under controversy questioning the authenticity of every word of this book, but the message is all the same. This book is not just to tell you of his travels to build schools, but also to show that one man can really make a difference. With all of this considered, I strongly recommend this book to any one person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Very touching story

    It makes you want to find out more and do something to help

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Interest, but...

    somewhat long, some parts could have been shorter.

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