Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
Three Cups of Tea:
One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, Penguin, 2007
Reviewed by Judi Morrel
Co-written by mountain-climber turned
humanitarian Greg Mortenson and journalist David Oliver Relin,
Three Cups of Tea tells the true story of the extraordinary efforts
of one man to combat poverty through education in the most remote
and inhospitable areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.
After failing to reach the summit of the mountain K2 in the
Karakoram Himalayas, the self-proclaimed "climbing bum," Mortenson,
became separated from his group and his high-altitude porter. He
stumbled, exhausted and ill, into the isolated village of Korphe.
The Balti inhabitants, led by Hali Aji, nursed him back to health
and while recuperating, Mortenson watched the malnourished village
children scratch their multiplication tables in the dirt in an
open-air "school' without a teacher.
Told that one in three children died before reaching the age of
one and that the village shared a teacher with a neighboring
village, Mortenson vowed to return and build a school for the
children of Korphe. That decision led Mortenson to devote his life
to building schools for the children, including the girls, of this
Islamic region. The subsequent founding of the Central Asia
Institute has led to the construction of more than 50 schools to
date, and this book is a tribute both to the power of one
individual to change the world and to the power of education to
change attitudes, even in the middle of radical Islamic
- Judi Morrel is associate professor of mathematics and
associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at