Customer Reviews for

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations...One School at a Time

Average Rating 4
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(39)

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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 March 12, 2008

    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 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.

    27 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    The story gets 4 stars - the writing gets 1 star

    This was a difficult book to rate as Greg's story and the cause he and all his supporters dedicate their lives to is truly inspiring and merits 4 stars. However, the actual writing hindered the whole message - it was tedious to say the least and I struggled to get through it and only persevered because this was my book clubs choice for this month. Otherwise I would have given up which would have been a shame as the message the book holds should be told around the world. But because of the writing style many people won't bother to read it. The message to take away from this book is very clear - the enemy is not the person sitting next to me who looks or acts different to me - the enemy is ignorance and the solution is education. Greg Mortensen has dedicated his life to building schools to educate children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to give them a balanced non-fundamentalist education in the hope that our two cultures can live side by side with respect for each other and our differences. It is truly incredible and highly commendable. But it is only half the story - we in the west need to work on educating our own children and helping them to choose tolerance of other cultures. I hope enough people can get beyond the writing style and get the message, before it is too late.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    No wonder its on PBS's presidential book list!

    This is an amazing book which has been included in the list of books that Bill Moyers on PBS recommends our president should read! It magnifies the fact that no matter which part of the globe and faith we belong to, as humans we all share a common sense of good and evil and a common yearning for progress. Above all this book shows that instead of de-humanising the other, we should attempt to reach out and try to understand their perspective. And if we do that, we will almost always find that as humans we are inherently the same.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    The Better Side of Humanity

    This book was recommended to me and I wasn¿t disappointed. Though I am primarily a lover of fiction, this book inspired me and reminded me that there are always obstacles and those obstacles are meant to be overcome. It¿s a practice of continually spiraling through the process of action and re-evaluation and, eventually, that persistence and determination will bear fruit. <BR/><BR/>The book begins with the hospitality and generosity of the people in small, impoverished Korphe, Pakistan to an outsider in need of aid and spans 911, the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq. Riddled throughout we see the disparate trails of understanding and intolerance weave their paths through the lives on all sides of the battlefield without discrimination. What stands out is the power of education. Not only in the sense of the traditional litany of math, language and history, but in striving to understand basic human and cultural divides and working together to overcome them.<BR/> <BR/>To wrap this around to our current political situation, this `war on terror¿, as the hypnotic buzz-term goes, has only created more hatred and contempt for America ¿ and not only in the Middle East. It¿s good to find these buoys that bear a message of tolerance and peace and a measure of sanity during this circus of carnage and current of aggression.<BR/><BR/>I¿ll definitely be passing this book along.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    An astonishing story of one man bravely following his belief with perserverance and dedication to what is just and right.

    This is the story of a modern-day hero. If today's youth would read about and follow men like Greg Morteson, there would be peace in every country on this earth.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Please read this review!!!!!

    From what I heard from a lot of comments, Greg Mortenson is a fraud, a thief, and this whole story is made up. He got money from his supposed charity, CAI, and kept it for himself. Some people say that, oh, read this book, its so touching and eye opening, but Greg Mortenson will not have an extra 12.99 in his pocket because I will most definitely be purchasing this book. I also heard from a WHOLE lot a comments that this is a poorly written book and, I'm sorry, but I am not spending 13 dollars on a poorly written book that a thiefy person wrote. Sorry! Im trying to say this in a non-offensive way, but Im just sharing my personal opinion. It sounds like a really great message, and I will say that. I hope you all know that I am sharing my personal opinion and you don't have to aggree with me. I will not be purchasing this book or any product from Greg Mortenson.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    How can the co-author teach at Iowa?

    While Mortenson's story is very inspiring and gives us a window into processes of development in a part of the world to which American's have paid too little attention, the writing is not very good. There are many run-on sentences, mistakes in punctuation and sentence fragments. I find this shocking considering that the co-author teaches at one of the best known writing schools in the US. I was very uncomfortable with the way the book is written as a biography of a living person, especially with the inclusion of irrelevant and mean-spirited details about a failed relationship. Mortenson is a co-author, so how could he stand to read a book about himself in the third person? A ghost-written 'I did this, I did that' autobiography might have worked better. The writing is at its worst in the beginning, so if you have just started the book take heart that it will improve. The book is at its best when it focuses on Mortenson's relationship with the people 'mostly men' he worked with in Pakistan. Their spirit of cooperation is somehow missing from the creation of the book itself, but manages to shine through the often very bad writing.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Not what I would have liked

    I recently had to read this book in my English IV class as a senior in high school. I honestly didn¿t think that it was written well at all, compared to other books that I have read. I found it hard to get into, and felt that I had to reread each sentence over and over again before I could focus on it. Other than that, I believe that the overall message of the book was incredibly inspiring, and it would be nice to see more people take as much interest in helping fight against terrorism and inadequate education the way that Greg Mortenson does in this book. Education is definitely the answer to combating terrorism, not blood and war. If we educate the less fortunate countries they will understand problems better and be able to solve them without drastic measures. In the end, I did not enjoy the book as much as I would have liked to.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2012

    Mortenson is a fraud and the worst kind of thief

    I beg you not to spend any money on this book or any other book by Greg Mortenson. His supposed charity, CAI, paid him millions of dollars to promote this book (which by the way is also loaded with lies) but Mr. Mortenson kept all the proceeds from the sales of the book. His charity, CAI, gets an F from CharityWatch and 60 Minutes did an expose on him. Again, please, please do not support this thief. He is the worst kind of thief. He takes hard earned money from kind and giving people, and instead of giving it to the poor, he keeps it. I hope this man goes to prison.

    I really wish B&N would not sell any of his books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    not what it seems

    Saw a story about this author on 60 minutes news program. His stories are not true, he made them up to sell more books

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Should be required for everyone

    This is truly an inspiration of what one man with a dream can do to draw together people from all walks of life to create change in the world. Mortensen's story, and the work that he is doing create a lasting impact on the world. Everyone in a position to set policy in this world should be required to read/listen to/absorb this book. Ending terrorism comes with healing relationships, not with bombs.

    2 out of 2 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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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    Great Story, Horribly Written

    I respect and admire Greg Mortenson very much for what he did for those kids in that region which was so desperately in need of help. It is an inspiring story. However, the book itself is confusing, long, and too detailed for its own good. It includes information that really turns the reader off to the book and makes you want to put it down and pick up something else, to say the least.<BR/><BR/>I say skip it.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    Greatest Book Ever

    This book is very interesting and has showed me many lessons I would have never understood until reading this book. Mortenson is a great person who shows what caring for other is really about. I would recommend that people read this book before setting on judgements. Remarkable book.

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    A Reviewer

    Greg Mortenson is a great man for helping others. This book had some interesting information, but some things could of been left out. While reading the book, I would become in and out of interest.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    Interesting, but not great.

    I read this book after a friend recommended it. I found the information interesting, but I would have preferred a much shorter version. The pages in the back of the book list addresses for donations to the CAI, so I felt that I had read a 300+ page infomercial.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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