This follow up to Three Cups of Tea is amazing. It is inspiring and humbling. Read it today. Buy a copy for everyone you know. Who says one person can't make a difference?
Of an Education
I did not read Three Cups of Tea and just picked up StonesintoSchools on a whim and came away very impressed. The main lesson of this book is that guns and bullets are not the only way to win a war. You also need to win a battle for the hearts and minds of the people and the best way to win the minds in the view of Greg Mortensen is by providing their children or the next generation with a proper education and with that education they will be able to lead Afghanistan into a more hopeful and prosperous future. Mortensen's efforts to build schools throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan is a rare uplifting yet cautious tale of what good the human spirit can do and the forces that oppose them. It doesn't come across as anti-military at all because some of the U.S. top military leaders have helped to open schools in these areas. Rather as a statement of fact that bombs and bullets for all their power will not bring us the long term victory of stability that were hoping for.
One thing that puzzles me is why was there not more discussion of his dealings with persons who were unfriendly to his ambitions? It's mentioned in places like the Islamic radicals setting up Madras's after the Pakistani quake or the uprisings that gutted many foreign NGO buildings, but if it is mentioned it's just for a few sentences or pages and then moved away from. Perhaps this disrupted from the uplifting theme of building peace through education, but I would've loved to have heard a little more about some of the obstacles he faced, but overall a solid and even rarer uplifting read for the beleaguered political science major.
I bought this book with reluctance thinking I had probably read enough in Three Cups of Tea to sufficiently appreciate Greg Mortensen's work and CAI's efforts to educate girls in remote Pakistan and Afghanistan. I thought I might be bored with too many logistical details and names I could not sort or remember. I was wrong! StonesIntoSchools inspired me with its comprehensive continuation of the valiant story...much more than Three Cups of Tea! The writers mastered the balance of factual and inspirational material, held my attention throughout, AND wowed me with the most melodic and beautiful prose I have read since reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged! Many times I was so gripped by the vivid descriptions and commentaries that I had to put the book down and let the words "ripple" throughout my being.
Stones Into Schools made me aware of people and places I have not known and should have. The book challenged me to do more with my life and has painted a picture of leadership that raised the bar for all my future endeavors. Until I read this book, the Earnest Shackelton story topped my leadership book list. Now, Stones Into Schools is my No. 1 recommendation for managers and leaders in every field!
StonesintoSchools by Greg Mortenson is an amazing story that leaves you wanting for me. The story about building a school at the end of the road in Afghanistan is wonderful and makes a person believe that anything is possible. Greg deeply portrays how educating girls is valuable and is able to give the reader a better understanding of Afghanistan and Pakistan. MUST READ!
The Work Continues
This book is a continuation of THREE CUPS OF TEA, about Greg Mortenson's initiative to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this book, which Greg writes in the first person, we go along with him in his daily work as he has a hectic life managing all the requests he has received, traveling, and raising money back home. It is truly an exhausting pace which sometimes leaves him completely physically drained. Along the way, we also learn about many of the individuals who work with him and are helping the efforts of the Central Asia Institute (CAI) go forward.
It is very heartening to know that the school-building effort is gaining a lot of traction and that so many schools have been built, and also that Greg's work is studied by the US military and other important entities involved in the region. It is also heartening to know how much support continues to build for the CAI. One concern is that Greg is reaching the point where the work will exceed his personal ability to manage - he is increasingly pulled between his obligations on the speaking circuit and being summoned for visits with heads of state and other powerful figures, yet his desire is to remain "on the ground" personally involved in building the schools and meeting the children. It will be interesting to see how the growth continues.
From the author of the #1 bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian's efforts to promote peace through education
In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women-all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.
Since the 2006 publication of Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson has traveled across the U.S. and the world to share his vision with hundreds of thousands of people. He has met with heads of state, top military officials, and leading politicians who all seek his advice and insight. The continued phenomenal success of Three Cups of Tea proves that there is an eager and committed audience for Mortenson's work and message.