Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

What an amazing book.  What an amazing man!  Greg Mortenson is a real honest-to-goodness hero who proves that with enough bravery, hard work and determination, a person really can change the world.

In 1993 Mortenson, a mountain climber, was in northern Pakistan to attempt to climb K2.  His attempt failed, and in his exhaustion and disappointment he accidentally wandered into a remote Karakoram village, Korphe, where he was greeted with warmth and hospitality.  Mortenson was so moved by the people’s kindness, and by their poverty, that he promised to return and help them build a school.  Three Cups of Tea is the story of how Mortenson worked diligently to fulfill that promise and the extraordinary events that transpired as a result.

Amidst an increasingly volatile political environment, (leading up to, including and after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) Mortenson continued to insist that the greatest weapon we have against terrorism was education, especially for the girls of Pakistan.  Not only is this book a tribute to the power of peaceful solutions, but it’s a great recent history lesson as well, explaning the events leading up to the current situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan involving the Taliban.  It’s also an insightful glimpse into the Islamic cultures of the middle east and the USA’s influences there, both good and bad.

I think this book should be required reading for high school seniors, at least for as long as US troops are involved in conflicts in the area.  I’d also confidently recommend it to anyone, as it was recommended to me.  It was a surprising inspiration.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 7:08 pm  Comments (1)  
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