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
From the Book Jacket
The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia
In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our timeGreg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.
Award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin has collaborated on this spellbinding account of Mortenson's incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are often feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself. At last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the worldone school at a time.
Introduction: In Mr. Mortenson's Orbit
Chapter 1: Failure
Chapter 2: The Wrong Side of the River
Chapter 3: "Progress and Perfection"
Chapter 4: Self-Storage
Chapter 5: 580 Letters, One Check
Chapter 6: Rawalpindi's Rooftops at Dusk
Chapter 7: Hard Way Home
Chapter 8: Beaten by the Braldu
Chapter 9: The People Have Spoken
Chapter 10: Building Bridges
Chapter 11: Six Days
Chapter 12: Haji Ali's Lesson
Chapter 13: "A Smile Should Be More Than a Memory"
Chapter 14: Equilibrium
Chapter 15: Mortenson in Motion
Chapter 16: Red Velvet Box
Chapter 17: Cherry Trees in the Sand
Chapter 18: Shrouded Figure
Chapter 19: A Village Called New York
Chapter 20: Tea with the Taliban
Chapter 21: Rumsfeld's Shoes
Chapter 22: "The Enemy Is Ignorance"
Chapter 23: Stones into Schools
In Mr. Mortenson's Orbit
The little red light had been flashing for five minutes before...
Three Cups of Tea is a truly inspiring story and also a very readable action-adventure! Many climbers have passed through the same areas of Pakistan as Mortenson, and made the same promises to the local people - to help them in some way or another; but the difference between Greg and so many others is that he followed through. He didn't set out to be a hero, he didn't even set out to 'make a difference' - he just set out to fulfill a promise that would have been so easy to forget. Despite the many obstacles in his way he raised the money and returned to Pakistan, but it took a further two-years, more money and many road-blocks, to build that first school.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (587 words).
The book's title comes from the advice given to Mortenson, over cups of scalding butter tea, by the chief of the village where the first school was built:
"The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated, but we are not stupid. We have survived here for a long time."
As Mortenson says, "that day Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. Our leaders thought their 'shock and awe' ...
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