Stones into Schools: Book summary and reviews of Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson

Stones into Schools

Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Greg Mortenson

Stones into Schools
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2009,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

From the author of the #1 bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian's efforts to promote peace through education.

In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women - all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.

Since the 2006 publication of Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson has traveled across the U.S. and the world to share his vision with hundreds of thousands of people. He has met with heads of state, top military officials, and leading politicians who all seek his advice and insight. The continued phenomenal success of Three Cups of Tea proves that there is an eager and committed audience for Mortenson's work and message.

In April 2011, the CBS documentary "60 Minutes" called into question Greg Mortenson's work. View the broadcast, and read Mortensen's initial response

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Stones Into Schools follows a clear trajectory with octopus tentacles of fascinating asides emanating from its core." - The Los Angeles Times

"His own words reveal a somewhat reckless and impractical man who makes decisions instinctively rather than with deliberation, whether in selecting school sites or hiring the local staff. His approach is certainly unconventional when compared with the reasoned planning of most educational programs." - San Francisco Chronicle

"If the first book was inspirational, the second sometimes reads like an infomercial." - The Washington Post

"Three Cups of Tea is now required reading for counterinsurgency officers, and Mortenson effectively demonstrates the 'cascade of positive changes triggered by teaching a single girl how to read and write.' Inspiring evidence of the tsunami effects of a committed humanitarian." - Kirkus Reviews

"Mr. Mortenson (writing with research assistance from Mike Bryan and structural help from Kevin Fedarko) describes one visually breathtaking setting after another, though not in a fashion fit for travelogues. The water, he says, can be Windex blue. The altitude can be so high that removing shoes is dangerous, since low air pressure can make feet swell. And it’s possible to see desperate families cooking meals over fires made from charitable donations of expensive mountaineering gear, or glimpse “a sheep grazing on a hillside with a puffy down jacket wrapped around its hind end.” As “Stones Into Schools” constantly illustrates, some forms of help from afar are infinitely more valuable than others." - The New York Times, Janet Maslin

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Book W
Even better
Even better than Three Cups of Tea, Mr. Mortenson continues his journey and his passion in a humble, no-nonsense manner. You feel his exhaustion, frustrations, fears and jubilation as he guides you through Afghanistan and Pakistan - and back and forth to his family. I honestly don't know how he does it! Our book club will be attending his visit next week and we can hardly wait. Both books should be required reading in every high school everywhere. I pray for his continued success and hope for another book.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Aslam Foundation dot org
Stones into Schools: Mortenson Summits Again
In his latest book, Greg Mortenson hosts the reader as a valuable and welcomed traveling companion as he retraces his steps through the most remote areas of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier areas and the formidable terrain of Afghanistan holding a mirror to our humanity. Mortenson introduces us to his trusted companions-turned-employees of Central Asia Institute, the so-called "Dirty Dozen", who truly embody the virtues of goodwill and perseverance in the name of literacy and, of course, God.

In short, Greg Mortenson's work makes Anthony Bordain's exotic travel look like a visit to Epcot Center.

Mortenson's commitment to cross-cultural understanding beyond the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan is rivaled only by his determination to educate the under-served girls in the most remote areas of these countries. Stones Into Schools is a suspenseful, heart-breaking as it is heart-warming, true account of a life well lived and a people well-served. Mortenson is an honor to the human race and diplomat for world peace.

About now, Greg Mortenson would do well to take his own advice and sit for a month under a walnut tree to recuperate.

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Author Information

Greg Mortenson Author Biography

In April 2011, the CBS documentary "60 Minutes" called into question Greg Mortenson's work. The program alleged inaccuracies in Three Cups of Tea and its sequel, Stones into Schools as well as financial improprieties in the operation of Mortenson's Central Asia Institute. Questions were also raised about Mortenson's claim that he got lost near K2 and ended up in Korphe; that he was captured by the Taliban in 1996; the number of schools the CAI claimed to have built and whether CAI funds had been used appropriately for Mortenson's book tours. View the broadcast. Jon Krakauer, who had supported the CAI to the tune of $75,000, also questioned Mortenson's accounts and released his allegations in a lengthy article titled Three Cups of Deceit

David Oliver Relin, Mortenson's co-...

... Full Biography
Link to Greg Mortenson's Website

Other books by Greg Mortenson at BookBrowse
  • Three Cups of Tea jacket
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