Greg Mortenson is the director of the Central Asia Institute, and he spends several months each year building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He lives in Montana with his wife and two children. David Oliver Relin is a globe-trotting journalist who has won more than forty national awards for his writing and editing. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Rescued by Pakistani villagers after a failed attempt at climbing K2, Mortenson vowed to build them a school. Twelve years later, his Central Asia Institute has built 55 schools (some serving girls) despite fatwas and worse. With a six-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers' hearts. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Greg Mortenson's dangerous and difficult quest . . . is not only a thrilling read, it's proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world."-Tom Brokaw
"An inspiring chronicle . . . this is one protagonist who clearly deserves to be called a hero."-People
"Mortenson's mission is admirable, his conviction unassailable, his territory exotic."-The Washington Post