Three Cups of Tea

Mortenson,Greg; Relin,David O

  7 Reviews

In 1993 a mountaineer named Greg Mortenson drifted into an impoverished Pakistan village in the Karakoram mountains after a failed attempt to climb K2. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Over the next decade Mortenson built not just one but 55 schools - especially for girls - in the forbidding terrain that gave birth to the Taliban. Mortenson is a keen admirer of Sir Edmund Hillary.

Special Note: 'The Three Cups of Tea' charity, Central Asian Institute (CAI), was put under investigation by the Montana State Attorney General after it was the focus of a segment on CBS News '60 Minutes', April 2011. The programme, in conjunction with author Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild and Into Thin Air), raised allegations that Mortenson fabricated parts of the best-selling memoir and follow-up book Stones into Schools, and took benefits for himself from the charity. Based on the results of an investigation, Greg Mortenson was ordered to pay one million dollars to the CAI, the charity he co-founded. He continues to represent the organization in speaking engagements and work to rebuild relationships in Pakistan and Afghanistan where the charity builds schools and promotes education. (Source: and

Comments from Groups

Fantastic read and despite the controversy ....thought it to be a worthwhile project. Great discussion. Nelson 022

All found the book interesting - googled it and read the notes about parts of the book not being authentic. Discussion ranged over a number of topics regarding living standards and women's rights. Whakatane 008

Universally enjoyed the book especially the descriptions, characters in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ...We personally didn't feel [the investigation by the Attorney General] took away from the story - more that the organisation grew too quickly and should have had better financial controls from the beginning. Nelson 049

The book led to a great discussion about someone pursuing his dreams, about specific needs being acknowledged and eventually fulfilled. Coromandel 001

An inspiring book that we all enjoyed . We felt that we had been educated about life in Pakistan and the Muslim faith. It reinforced our belief that books and education create peace and understanding amoung people. Matamata 004



AUCK 210
Despite the controversy that occurred regarding the author in the years following the publication of this book, our members still rated the book highly - a very worthwhile read.
NELS 065
Mixed reviews from the group. Some didn't finish the book, and some found it hard to enjoy knowing the controversy surrounding the book and CAI. However, Mortenson has still achieved amazing things, and it's humbling to read of the difference one person can make to the lives of others. Thanks.
Our group all enjoyed this book. We would recommend it to other groups. One or two people found the small print hard but overall it was an eye opening book that generated a lot of discussion.
CHCH 408
People enjoyed this book - easy reading and engaging.
CHCH 361
Wonderful story. Loved by all who had a chance to read it. Even better knowing it's non-fiction.
NELS 075
Very lively discussion especially around the authenticity of the material. At the end we concluded that he was coming from a 'good place', and operated by not following the rules and working in countries which were incredibly chaotic.
A couple had read the court case and found him guilty and felt the whole story was seriously fabricated . An interesting discussion followed. The majority of us really enjoyed the story whether it was Fact or Fiction.