Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way

Jon Krakauer. Anchor, $9.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-307-94876-2
In this withering examination of humanitarian and bestselling-author Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute (Mortenson's non-profit charged with building schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan), Krakauer (Into the Wild) writes: "The first eight chapters of Three Cups of Tea are an intricately wrought work of fiction presented as fact…Mortenson has lied about the noble deeds he has done, the risks he has taken, the people he has met, the number of schools he has built." While Krakauer acknowledges the value of Mortenson's efforts, he takes umbrage with his practices: using his organization as an ATM to fund his travel, book, and promotional expenses without oversight or reporting; and peppering his books with falsehoods in order to heighten the drama and improve his image, all of which has enabled the CAI to raise more than $50 million in donations since the book's 2006 publication. That Krakauer is among the flock that was fleeced (having donated over $75,000 to the cause) makes his vitriol even more understandable. Packed with interviews and anecdotes that undercut Mortenson's image as a cheerful do-gooder, Krakauer's account of good intentions gone horribly wrong is a stunning example of investigative journalism. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-96978-1
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