Have you ever wanted to do the right thing? Have you ever wondered what charity might benefit from your contribution? Have you ever been so inspired by a book's story that you wrote out a check the same day you finished reading it?
Greg Mortenson is a true hero - and I don't use the word lightly. This book gives a first hand account of the lives of modern-day Pakistanis and Afghanis - real live people. Women and children and families - just like you and me except they live in an incredibly rugged, impoverished area where education is not a right, but a luxury. In a non-sectarian, non-judgmental manner, Mr. Mortenson (through a co-author) explains his life goal of building schools for the children of these nations. He faces incredible obstacles and yet succeeds. His motivation is to offer an alternative to the violence espoused by the extremist Islamic branches - the Taliban and Al Queada. By learning history and algebra and physics, these children have an opportunity to become engineers and doctors, rather than jihadists and suicide bombers. I have been educated and amazed, you may be too.
Such a powerful and inspirational book! Greg Mortenson's story begins with a personal failure that eventually led to such unimaginable success. It starts out at K2, and the story takes us to areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and parts of the US as well. With a passion and determination not often seen, Mortenson makes his way through the language and customs of a people that most Americans had never heard of before. The story of his personal struggles (and those of his family) put against the backdrop of an area many people don't know much about other than what is on the nightly news makes his work even more impressive. This is a book that everyone should read, regardless of religion or political affiliation. This insightful book was well-written with personality and feeling that keeps you riveted until the very last page. In the end, this book proves that the "War on Terror" shouldn't be fought with missiles and guns, but rather with books and pencils.
This book was very hard for me to rate using just 5 stars. The story itself is amazing and inspirational--if you read it you will find yourself wanting to help to support the Greg Mortenson's cause. But the writing was very bad and made the book unnecessarily cumbersome to get through. I am not sure why the author insisted on calling Greg Mortenson by his last name, but it felt unnatural. And the author had an annoying tendency to drop in tidbits of information without really tying the information to the story. It reminded me a person who likes to name drop for no other reason then to show what/who they know.