Greg Mortenson is the director of the Central Asia Institute. A former mountaineer and military veteran, he spends several months each year building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He lives in Montana with his wife and two children.
Greg Mortenson and coauthor David Oliver Relin recount Mortenson's crossroad and what he did about it. After a near fatal attempt to climb Himalayan peak K2, Mortenson was nursed and sheltered by villagers in a remote area of Pakistan. Following his recovery, he promised to return and build the village its first school. That project has now grown to include more than 50 schools across Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a particular focus to bring educational opportunities to young girls. Copyright 2008 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.