'Three Cups of Tea' Publisher Speaks Out After '60 Minutes' Report

 

A CBS News report questions the accuracy of author Greg Mortenson's memoir about his work building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A book publisher is investigating Greg Mortenson’s popular memoir Three Cups of Tea -- which has sold more than a million copies -- after a report on CBS News challenged its accuracy.

“Greg Mortenson’s work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of children with an education,” Carolyn Coleburn, a spokeswoman for Viking, said in a statement to the New York Times. “60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author.”

On Sunday, 60 Minutes called into a question a main anecdote in the book: that Mortenson found himself in a small village named Korphe in northeast Pakistan after he failed to climb the world's second-highest mountain nearby, K2. After villagers helped him recover from his doomed climb, Mortenson said he was inspired to return to the town and build a school.

Mortenson defends his book, but admits it was a "compressed version of events."

60 Minutes also reported that Mortenson’s charitable organization, the Centra Asia Institute, may face mismanagement and inappropriate spending, according to the Times.

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