Author(s): Greg MortensonDownload
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. 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.
Some Reviews: 1828 in Goodreads.com
If anyone thinks that because they read “Three Cups of Tea” that they know the story of this book, think again. It is truly an amazing tale of the tenacity of a group of men who are determined to reach the goal no matter what. Anyone who can read the Epilogue without tearing up must have a heart of “stones”. I won’t spoil the story of whether the tears are ones of joy or sadness.
Any news report I now hear about Afghanistan will now be tempered with the knowledge of the country and its people that I have learned from this book. I had heard of Greg’s input to the military and it was fascinating to read how that came about.
Speaking of the military: “Eventually, I came to understand that a group of people who wield enormous power happen, oddly enough, to espouse some of the very same ideals imparted to me by people in Africa and central Asia who have no power at all. The reason for this , in my view, is that members of the armed forces have worked on the ground – in many cases, during three or four tours of duty– on a level that very few diplomats, academicians, journalists, or policy makers can match. And among other things, this experience has imbued soldiers with the gift of empathy.”
This project continues to be a work in progress, and I am in awe of all those who have worked so hard to accomplish so much up to now.
I do have a correction, Greg, about one of the picture labels just in case you haven’t caught it for the new editions. It seems to be that the horse standing with Sarfraz Khan is either named wrong or isn’t Kazil, since Kazil seems to be very much alive at the end of the book. Thanks
Just finished this book today. Tears streamed down my face as I finished and i was bummed to think it will be years before I know more about the school building that CAI is doing.
Greg Mortenson’s storytelling is wonderful. I wonder if drinking all those cups of tea over the almost 20 years accounts for his ability to tell a tale. I’ve learned so much about the history, culture and customs of this remote part of the world. It is inspiring. While I don’t believe I”m called to go there, I do see the part I can play in this effort. I know Mortenson would rather be in the field, but the money that can be raised in this country is vital to the field’s success.
I told my mom about this book on the way to church this morning. I want her to read it…although she says she’s not much for political books at age 88. I think it would be fantastic book for their reading club at the home where she lives. And I’m thrilled to know that they’ve made the book into a youth version, so that kids who can’t read this whole book right now can still take part in the adventure.
I’m up to page 92. The work in Afghanistan is just beginning. What I’ve appreciated is the peek inside the customs and traditions of this part of the world. I know I’m not tough enough to live there and I’m amazed at the vision for change that is embraced by the “commandhans”. They are brave enough to see what their people need and commit to figuring out how to get it for them.
While this book is arguably a continuation of Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea,” it is extremely important reading for those who desire real peace. Like “Three Cups of Tea” it should be required reading for Special Forces troops being assigned to Afghanistan. In fact, it should be required reading for all of the military and all of Congress. Of special note, if you are not going to take the time to read the whole book, at least read page 81 and pages 135 to 138.
In this book Mortenson continues to show that the education of girls is extremely important to the area and that many in the area want their daughters educated. What often prevents the furtherance of female education are attitudes ingrained in tribal societies – what I consider the selling of young girls for a bride price; a family’s desire to have a daughter-in-law as a slave for a number of years; and, perhaps most subtle is the jealousy and envy by male family members.
“Stones into Schools” shows that some of these attitudes can be overcome. It also shows that the conventional military attitude of taking and holding land is a no-win strategy. As when the Special Forces first went into Vietnam, working through village elders and religious people, finding out what they really need and want, and requiring them to put sweat equity and other resources into bettering themselves does more to win hearts and minds than guns and threats.
Fully review posted to my blog http://bookwi.se/stones-to-schools-by…
Short review: This is an inspiring book that shows what one person can do with vision and drive. This is the second book (first was Three Cups of Tea that I reviewed at http://bookwi.se/summer-reading-club-… ). This book picks up right where the last one left off and takes us until Oct/Nov 2009. At the end of the book you don’t know what really happened, even now because the story is in very rural Afghanistan where the roads are closed by snow six months a year and we don’t know what the final result will be until around March or April this year (2010). This is mostly just story of how Central Asian Institute is growing, but some of the most interesting parts are the author, Greg Mortenson, dealing with the fact that he, as the face and author of the schools movement, has to spend his time speaking, writing and traveling in the US instead of in central Asia where he would like to be. He is clearly an introvert and the constant travel and speaking is very wearing on him. But he continues to do it because of the importance of the mission, not necessarily to himself, but to the 10s of thousands if not 100s of thousands that are affected by the schools that he helps to start.
(Note: since I read and wrote this, Mortensen’s stories have largely been disproven.)
Very satisfying to read how much progress CAI has made since we left off at the end of “Three Cups of Tea”. I loved the motley cast of hard-working characters. It’s really nice to hear the military over there is aware of Greg’s work and listens to his voice, his ideas, and his wisdom.
The writing on this book was somewhat better than on the last, but what captivates about these is just the simple story of an ordinary man with no particular charisma or public-speaking skills taking things into his own hands and making a real difference in the world. The books give me great hope for the future of the world. They teach us that we don’t have to wait for some aid organization or some government to make things right. We can just do it ourselves.
I believe the next generation, those who have been raised with the internet, within this new global neighborhood, will finish what we here today are starting. They will finish the unification of the world and the application of rich-world resources to poor-world problems so that in the future anyone’s problems will be everyone’s problems, and we’ll all pull together to clean up this slum called the world and make it into a clean, safe, beautiful, and healthy home for the family of humankind.
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