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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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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Awe-inspiring!

    Just finished reading one of the most AMAZING books ever - Three Cups of Tea! Started out a little slow, myself a little sceptical, esp after a comment by Relin (co-author). But as I got into the book, I couldn't put it down. It offers a glimpse into the far-flung communties of the Pakistan and Afgan countries that you never hear about and makes you realize that EDUCATION is truly the key to a better life for everyone: Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, etc. Buy the book and read it - you will not regret it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A stunning inspiration

    While this book was published in 07 I went back to read it after reading a review for Greg's second book. I wish someone would have handed me this book earlier. It is a wonderful testament to the human spirit. If you have a passion and are stumbling, please read it. Greg's challenges and victories are believable, remarkable and this is
    a humble man. It's a gritty, unpolished account of raising the bar for people who
    are less fortunate. One of my favorite passages is where he visits a sporting goods store in Apple Valley, MN. The store is no longer in business but only a few souls came to hear him talk. At the end of the talk he found a rather large check sitting on one of the seats in the back of the room. I live in Apple Valley and was touched to read how someone in my backyard helped this man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    Exciting while enlightening!

    Three Cups of Tea was hard to put down. I told family, "I am going to Pakistan. Let me read..." I so appreciate that Greg Mortenson took a wrong turn and ended up in Korphe, then lived to fulfill his promise. He brings us a deeper appreciation of a people, their culture, and the countryside. Before arguing about what needs to be done in that part of the world, the book should be read to understand a different side than we see in the news and from the politicians.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    Everyone should read Three Cups of Tea.

    This book brings to light a true story of loyalty - one that can be trusted.
    In one's lifetime, this type of loyalty is a rare gem.
    As a result of Mortenson's meanderings, he received and then passed on this gem after stumbling upon simple regard while lost in an unforgiving environment.
    Who could imagine the gem he received and the multifaceted effects the luminescence of that gem has beaconed to the world?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must-Read

    Everyone should read this book! A great message and a blueprint for creating a better world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One Person Can Make a Difference

    Greg Mortenson should be an inspiration to us all. He took a dream and a vision and turned it into a goal and a passion. Through the work of Mr. Mortenson's nonprofit organization, CAI, he is proving that resolving conflicts with books and education is much more effective, far reaching and long lasting than through bloodshed with guns and bombs.

    It was good to learn that "Three Cups of Tea" has been required reading for our military personnel who are serving in Central Asia. Our troops and their superiors will be far more successful in gaining cooperation from the individuals and tribal leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan when they have a better understanding of and respect for the cultures, religions and beliefs of those countries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

    This is the book all Americans need to read to open our minds and hearts.

    After reading this book, I have a new apprecation for the hardships the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan face each day. There are so many who want to have a better life and to live in peace but who cannot, due to lack of education, training, resources and the neglect of the developed world. It is time for us to fight terror with education, training and compassion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Great Read

    This book was truly inspiring and amazing. Greg Mortensen is an amazing person who reached far beyond anything that anyone could've imagined. It is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    UNDERSTANDING OUR ENEMY

    ALL AMERICANS SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. I AM GLAD TO HEAR THAT IT IS REQUIRED READING FOR THE MILITARY DEPLOYED IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. I WILL SUPPORT THIS EFFORT FINANCIALLY. GOD BLESS MORTENSEN AND HIS FAMILY.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't put it down, want more info!!

    This book contributed to my being late for work, I just couldn't put it down. What Greg and the CAI are doing is amazing. I have his next book, Stones to Schools on my Christmas list!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Two books about Afghanistan/Pakistan worthwhile reading

    "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen and David Relin and "Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini provide two true stories with different, yet related viewpoints on Afghan/Pakistani culture. One was written by a native (Hosseini, mostly on Afghan culture), and the other was written by outsiders (Mortenson and Relin, mostly on Pakistani culture but also some on Afghanistan). Both books describe how oppressive culture can be against Muslim societies along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, and both describe how people find different ways to overcome such an obstacle in spite of tragedy that has occurred during their successful pursuit of happiness. It is interesting that both books give substantial, yet different descriptions on the Taliban that reside along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    It is also interesting to observe how different the authors' writing styles are from each other. "Kite Runner" is more of a thriller, yet "Three Cups..." provides a more complete story on what is going on along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In my own humble opinion, the Cups story is slightly better written than the Kite Runner story, especially because, unlike Mortenson or Hosseini, Relin himself is a professional writer. However, both books provide great stories of humanity, and one can hope that hope continues beyond the end of either story for the sake of Afghan and Pakistani people.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for those trying to understand the Middle East.

    If you want a view of the Middle East and our relationship with that region, which is not tailored by the commercial market news media or our government, then this book is for you. The book also demonstrates what one person can accomplish with determination, steadfastness, and some amount of personal sacrifice. Traits that don't seem all that common in our society anymore. The book also shows that "there is more than one way to skin a cat" when it comes to our nation's relations with the other countries of the world.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    Remarkable

    Inspiring story of how a promise changed so many lives- giving purpose to one man's life and the education and life altering opportunities to hundreds of young girls. In encouraging girls in countries where traditionally they have not been allowed to receive an education, his work has not only help provide an education but the opportunity to travel out of small villages to higher education in cities and the greater ability to become active members in the world community. I think his story is fantastic and probably more beneficial than any government help or aid program..talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Greg Mortensen has been an inspiration.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The whole world should read this book.

    This book describes the true situation of the majority of the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I couldn't help but noticing, while reading a couple of other reviews, that it can be completely misinterpreted. This book goes beyond and is above any political view or tendency. It is about children, and about how educating children IS THE solution to vanquishing terrorism, the solution to all the misunderstanding, violence, and intolerance there is in the world today. This book shows that a man can achieve and is able to accomplish much more through teaching and kindness, than through any other mean. Amongst a myriad of other things, this book also reminds all of us, living in privileged countries like the USA, Europe and other developed countries, how lucky we and our children are, and what a difference we can all make by doing our share as human beings. The result obtained by Greg Mortenson is guaranteed to last and will be passed on from generation to generation. Instead, violence and destruction are only an illusion of victory, apart from generating more hate and bringing pain to innocent and defenseless victims. I admire Greg Mortenson and his wife Tara. They have much to teach. They are a true inspiration and so is their daughter, now following their steps. I also admire all those involved in this cause. After reading this book I decided I will try to help in anyway I can.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2009

    Three Cups of Tea

    This book is truly enlightening for those who read it. You will get into the groove and will not let the book out of your sight until you have finished reading it. Greg Mortenson is a shining light to the world on what he has achieved and how he has achieved it in building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His belief that through education of the impoverished will ensure through the educating the girls predominantly in these countries will promote peace. This books narrative style enables the reader to create a sense of being beside Greg Mortenson as he journeyed into the farthest reaches of these two countries. The life experiences he describes in the book were real and heartfelt as the reader visualises being there. Sleeping in his car or the storage shed you felt that he was destined for greater things. Finishing this book today and being asked to write a review was the simplest of tasks and done with pleasure. I am in the military and agree with his strategy of peace being created through education. It is a hearts and mind book which be presented as compulsory reading schools to assist in educating children of the developed countries that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    The best book I read this year

    Three Cups of Tea is not the kind of book I would normally put on my summer reading list, but I think it is good to challenge yourself and take a chance every now and then so it wound up in the cart next to my mystery stories, classics, biographies, and travel books. Besides I'm an educator and it would be good for me to read something about education. I'm so glad I took a chance. Long before the current crisis in Afganistan and Pakistan Greg Mortenson had been working in the field there building schools, making connections with people, learning about the cultures and tribes, and standing up for the education of women. He was the son of missionaries who had built a school and hospital in Africa. Back in the United States Greg was interested in mountain climbing. It was his passion. He was in Pakistan to climb K2 when he took a wrong turn and ended up in a remote village. The people took him in and nursed him back to health. He was horrified to find that the children, especially the girls did not have a school. He vowed to return and build a school there. That is the beginning of his adventure. He did return to the village and build a bridge and a school. He founded an organization that has been building schools and community centers in these two countries for more than a decade. He has a great adventure in overcoming obstacles. It is the story of a moral, dedicated man who found himself and his life's work. I think it a really remarkable story that makes you a better person for having read it. It renews your faith in human beings. Also, it gives background information that is helpful in understanding what is going on in these two countries in view of current political environment.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    A Must Read for All Ages

    This book opened up my eyes to world I only knew through newspaper headlines. (And those headlines don't even tell us half the story.) David Oliver Relin beautifully weaves together the story of Greg Mortenson's work in Pakistan and Afghanistan through the words of those who actually experienced it. Mortenson made a promise to build one school for one village. Years later, after being kidnapped and held at gunpoint, overcoming two fatwas, and many other harrowoing adventures, Mortenson has built dozens of schools and completed numerous other projects. Do not miss reading this book! Move it straight to the top of your list.

    As a teacher, I am excited to discuss this book with my students and encourage them to read it as well. I hope that all my students will read this book and make a connection with students half a world away. (There is also a young readers edition of the book for younger students or those with reading difficulties.) I have encouraged my husband and parents to read the book, and we have had remarkable discussions.

    This book will inspire you to become a supporter of Greg Mortenson's work and the Central Asia Institute.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If world leaders adopted Greg Mortenson's attitude of respect, compassion, vision and tenacity we might be able to someday achieve world peace.

    This book was not at all what I expected. It kept me engrossed from the very first chapter until the last. It was a very fine read but it went much further than that. I was already very interested in women in Afghanistan and contributing to their education. However, after reading this book I am ready to step it up a bit and I would love to contribute enough to actually fund the building of another school. Granted of course that they want another school.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What a marvelous book!

    Not an easy read because names of people and areas involved are not those we are used to but it is a book that I was always anxious to pick up and read. It can be somewhat emotionally exhausting because of the dangers faced by both the author and the people living in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Greg Mortenson should win a Nobel Peace Prize. This book shows so well that what each person does in this world can really make a difference to society.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    Every American Should Read Three Cups of Tea

    This is one of the best books I've read. Greg Mortenson is absolutely amazing and his story inspirational. I now know much more about the Pakistani and Afgan cultures and struggles. I have a much clearer understanding of what led up to 9/11 and completely agree with Greg's thoughts on how such tragedies can be avoided in the future.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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