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Krakauer's take on "Three Cups of Tea" controversy now available

The Three Cups of Tea controversy rages on - and for a short time, you can read Jon Krakauer's take on it for free.

Tea On Sunday, a 60 Minutes piece challenged various truths in Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greg Mortenson's bestselling Three Cups of Tea, which he co-wrote with David Oliver Relin. 60 Minutes disputed Mortenson's version of a trip he made to Pakistan, his claim that he was captured by the Taliban for eight days and questioned some of the finances involving the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and which Mortenson co-founded (he's also executive director).

Monday, publisher Viking announced that it was planning to "review" the book, according to the Wall Street Journal. From the story by Jeffrey Trachtenberg: "In a statement, Viking, an imprint of Pearson PLC's Penguin Group (USA), praised Mr. Mortenson's humanitarian efforts but noted that " 60 Minutes is a serious news organization, and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author.' "

Krakauer, the author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven and Where Men Find Glory, was featured in the 60 Minutes piece, and he has written his own story about Mortenson,  available as a free download at byliner.com, a publishinc company focused on narrative journalism. It's free for 72 hours. (It's entitled, rather cleverly, Three Cups of Deceit.) After that, it will be sold as a Kindle single for $2.99, with all proceeds going to the STOP Girl Trafficking at the American Himalayan Foundation.

Krakauer's conclusions, in a nutshell: That Mortenson misused millions of donated dollars and has lied about aspects of his humanitarian work. Krakauer, by the way, was a longtime supporter who donated more than $75,000 to the Central Asia Institute. 


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