Book 48 Completed
Three Cups of Tea should be required reading.
It’s not particularly compelling writing — I am a HUGE fan of Krakauer’s non-fiction and this book felt like it wanted to read like a Krakauer, but wasn’t quite up to par. There were moments where too much detail bogged down the flow of the book. (And I couldn’t quite figure out the authorship…Greg Mortenson gets top billing as the author, but the entire book is told in third person. So, did the journalist co-author actually write the copy? And Mortenson just provided all the details? I’m confused.)
BUT the book does hit its stride and — issues with the book aside — there is no denying that Mortenson is an amazing individual. What he was able to do for Pakistan (and eventually Afghanistan), without any pretense or desire for fame, with only a pure desire to help these children, is a fascinating and inspirational story. I was in awe. The post-9-11 stuff was easily the best part of the book. I was riveted by what Greg was trying to do even after the countries he was helping became unsafe for Americans. (The man was kidnapped in Pakistan; crazy!) His ideologies for educating Pakistan — seeing education as the key to fighting terror — is brilliant. And I really wish more people in Washington listen to him.
Imagine the difference our country could make if we really cared about rebuilding these countries we bombed! Greg gets it — as crazy as he seems sometimes. These are Americans I’m proud of. People who do good things without any ulterior-motives or ethnocentricity. He ate what they served him, drank what they put in front of him, adopted their culture, worked to learn the language, and — with a pure heart — LOVED the people he was trying to help. I could get on a soap-box about how more NGOs should be willing to bend to the culture instead of the other way around. I think he was successful in part due to his respect for Islam. This book does wonders for breaking down prejudices and misconceptions about Muslims too. There is so much in this book worth exploring.
AND he was totally deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize!! Check out this article — I still can’t believe President Obama won over these amazing people! Sorry, I think that’s the biggest joke.
One more thing: Greg’s wife? She is CRAZY. Everyone is talking about how awesome she is for letting her husband be gone for three (plus) months at a time while she raised two children alone on very little money. (Well, I’m sure they’re doing better now — two bestsellers under your belt can help with poverty!) And he’d forget to call and his life was constantly in danger? I think Greg Mortenson would be a great friend or chummy uncle. But I’m glad he found the only woman in the world willing to put up with that. Maybe she deserves an award instead.