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Publisher's Summary

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 time: Greg 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 55 schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world, one school at a time.

©2006 Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc

Critic Reviews

"Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time....Not only a thrilling read, it's proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world." (Tom Brokaw)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


A well written account of doing the right thing at all costs. I learned much about the complexities of the Middle East and a little insight into why some Americans may be perceived as political bumblers there. The story is compelling and leaves me looking for opportunities to be grateful and help others.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very good book, with good reading

This book is great, and I am happy that I was not affected by those comments about the reading. The fake accent is not disturbing at all.

I was touched at the second half of the book, when some of the schools were starting to show some impacts. That is what life is about.

This is an extremely encouraging book, and help you to think for the better lives of all the people in the world.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Extremely interesting

I really enjoyed Three Cups of Tea. The story of Greg Mortenson's life building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan was inspiring and real. I usually feel that stories of people doing great things like this are too romanticized and don't tell the whole story, but this was not the case in this book. The story keeps you listening, it never fades into overly intricate detail. The other people in the story are humanized and not just flat extras. I would highly recommend this book.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • tinley park, IL, United States
  • 05-09-11


Is this guy for real or juuust another con arteest. I shall have to downgrade my review rating downwards. Creditability shot in tushie.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A must read for military traveling to Afghanistan

I listened to this book as part of a self-imposed curriculum as I get ready to deploy to Afghanistan. This book demonstrates the tools we should be using in our fight against terrorism. Greg Mortinson is an amazing man. He is fearless, selfless, and ingenious. He loves the people he helps, and in return they love him back, and by extension love America. This book has given me much to think about with what I want to do with my time over there.

As a member of the US Army, I had to stop and digest his criticisms about how we are prosecuting the war. But in the end, he is not wrong. But the good news is that now, several years after the close of this book, we have come to understand the vision that Mr. Mortenson expresses.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michele
  • Hillsdale, NJ, USA
  • 02-14-08

An inspriational story

I received a copy of the actual book and could not get through it. Listening to it took me to a whole new level. I really enjoyed it and found it much easier to listen to than to read.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gregory
  • Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland, Canada
  • 03-29-07

Must read

I first read a hard copy of this book a couple of months ago. I loved it!! I decided I had to buy it in audio so I could share it with my pre teen son. It would have been too challenging for him to read the book on his own. We have listened to the book in the car and at home.
My son loved this story. It has it all. An adventure, a misunderstood culture, and humanitarian efforts all rolled up into a true story for our times. What a great teaching tool for tolerance and compassion. I am so glad my son and I could share this story together and broaden our perspective on a topic that we need to understand in today's world. It's a total must read.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Greg Mortenson has given me a new found inspiration to work for my country of origin, Pakistan

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book if it is mostly true.

The book was great but there is something of a scandal involving Greg M that I need to learn more about.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fascinating Cultural Narrative

From start to finish, was eager to get back to the story whenever I could. Narrator isnt my favorite, but the story is so intriguing and inspiring that I kept raving to everyone about this book! For me, almost as addictive as Harry Potter. An amazing glimpse into muslim culture, told with reality, grace, and humanity.