Afghanistan

Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer

Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer

One of the most popular humanitarian nonfiction books of the 2000s was Greg Mortenson’s best seller Three Cups of TeaThree Cups of Tea was marketed as a call for humanitarian aid to impoverished Central Asian nations such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, but Mortenson’s life story of dedicating himself to providing education to the people of Central Asia was the emotional connection that sold many readers on the book.  Mortenson traveled across the U.S., giving lectures, setting up charities to provide money for his Central Asia Institute (CAI), and appearing on numerous talk shows to promote his book.  As beautiful as his humanitarian mission seemed, it was ultimately revealed as too good to be true by writer Jon Krakauer, whose expose Three Cups of Deceit explored the lies in Mortenson’s story and the lack of effectiveness in the CAI’s schools program.  Although Three Cups of Deceit can be a depressing read at times, it also makes for a fascinating study in media awareness and image manipulation.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, tells the story of one man's attempt to promote peace in the Middle East by building schools. Journalist David Oliver Relin chronicled Greg Mortenson’s life in order to encourage further support for his efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Prisoners of Hope: The Story of Our Captivity and Freedom in Afghanistan

By Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer

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"Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer tell the story of their work in Afghanistan, their love for the people they served, their arrest, trial, and imprisonment by the Taliban, and their rescue by U.S. Special Forces. The heart of the book will discuss how two middle-class American women decided to leave the comforts of home in exchange for the opportunity to serve the disadvantaged, and how their faith motivated them and sustained them through the events that followed."

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Decision Points

By George W. Bush

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"...President Bush brings readers inside the Texas Governor’s Mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America’s most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues that have shaped the first decade of the 21st century." (From the publisher's description)

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Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers: The Marine Corps' Battle for Freedom in Afghanistan

By Ed Darack

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In late June 2005, media recounted the tragic story of nineteen U.S. special operations personnel who died at the hands of insurgent/terrorist leader Ahmad Shah, leaving one survivor, deep in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan. The harrowing events of Operation Red Wings marked an important, yet widely misreported, chapter in the Global War on Terror. This book reveals the complete story of Operation Red Wings (often mis-referenced as "Operation Redwing"), and the follow-on mission, Operation Whalers. Together, these two U.S. Marine Corps operations (which in the case of Red Wings utilized Navy SEALs for its opening phase) unfold not as a mission gone terribly wrong, but as a complex and difficult campaign that ultimately saw the demise of Ahmad Shan and his small army of barbarous fighters. Due to the valor, courage, and commitment of the Marines in the summer of 2005, Afghanistan was able to hold free elections that fall.
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One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

By Nathaniel Fick

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A former captain in the Marines' First Recon Battalion, who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, reveals how the Corps trains its elite and offers a point-blank account of twenty-first-century battle. Also available as an audiobook.

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War by Sebastian Junger

This is not the kind of book I normally read, but I'm glad I did. War by Sebastian Junger describes Junger's time embedded with the U.S. Army's Second Platoon, Battle Company during 2007 and 2008 while deployed in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, a small area seeing the heaviest fighting in the entire country.

My only experience with military/war literature is Jarhead, so it remains a little hard for me to see past all the jargon regarding weapons and combat maneuvers. Junger begins the story fast and furious, which left me feeling a little disoriented just as I can only imagine combat would seem to soldiers. Soon enough, though, a more cohesive picture emerges as he begins to fill in the gaps with background information about the area and our movements there and personal details about some of the soldiers. Junger uses humor and candor to describe the restlessness, tension and boredom that comes in times when attacks are less frequent, and the resulting pranks, hijinks and an odd kind of loving violence amongst the soldiers.

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

Greg Mortenson

"Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson's decade-long odyssey to build schools (especially for girls), throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. In a region where Americans are often feared and hated, he has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself--at last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools." (Book Description)

9780143038252
Adult

The Author

Greg Mortenson’s Official Website, http://www.gregmortenson.com/

“Greg Mortenson Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize,” http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/87114

 

Reading Guide

from the publisher, http://us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/three_cups_of_tea.html

 

Related Official Websites

3 Cups of Tea Official Website,  http://www.threecupsoftea.com/ with archived articles, interviews, TV and radio shows

Pennies for Peace Program,  http://www.penniesforpeace.org/

Central Asia Institute,  https://www.ikat.org/

 

Articles and Reviews

"3 Cups of Tea,” Wikipedia On-line Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Cups_of_Tea

Review from “Al Mihrab” blog, http://almihrab.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/three-cups-of-tea/

Review from “Books on the Brain”,  http://lisamm.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/review-three-cups-of-tea-one-mans-mission-to-promote-peace-one-school-at-a-time/