College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Three Cups Large Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a Time

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 extremism.

- Judi Morrel is associate professor of mathematics and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.