Saturday, October 25, 2008


Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin, Viking Penguin, 2006, 331 pp

I had to read this book for a reading group. I was not looking forward to it despite all the raves I had heard from customers and perhaps because of its bestseller status. Turns out it was great!

Greg Mortenson was a mountain climber who became a promoter of peace by deciding to build a school for a poor village in Pakistan. That decision, made after the villagers saved his life, turned into a lifelong commitment involving an unbelievable amount of work, energy, danger and frustration.

Because Mortenson is a man of action, the book is a combination of extreme adventure and social/historical commentary. Extreme adventure makes up the much bigger percentage and is the impetus for Mortenson and the reader.

I am glad I read it when I did because this summer of political conventions was not making me feel hopeful about my country or my world. Three Cups of Tea reminded me that politics and government have rarely brought about good for the world. It is the actions of people of goodwill that have created better conditions for their fellowman.

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