"Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson faces new troubles
Two Montana legislators, saying that millions of readers were bilked by "Three Cups of Tea," are pursuing a class action lawsuit against author Greg Mortenson.
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The legislators have suggested that millions of others who bought the book, heard Mortenson speak, and/or contributed to his charity could potentially became part of their suit.Skip to next paragraph
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Reinhart, Price, and others "purchased the book because of his heart-wrenching story which he said was true," says Alexander Blewett, attorney for Reinhart and Price. "If people had known all of this was fabricated, they would not have given the money."
The suit that Reinhart and Price have filed seeks to pursue charges against Mortenson and the CAI under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act because Mortenson used the US mail to solicit donations.
Mortenson and the CAI are also under investigation by Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock.
"Three Cups of Tea" was published in 2006 and has garnered a wide and wildly enthusiastic audience. The book was on The New York Times bestseller list for three years after the release of its paperback edition. (The hardcover version of the book was not a big success and the paperback took off only after Mortenson persuaded his publishers to give the book a more hopeful subtitle.) It has since sold more than 4 million copies and been published in at least 39 countries. The book is required reading on many US college campuses and for all US service people bound for Afghanistan.
Mortenson, who also published a second book, "Stones into Schools," in 2009, draws huge crowds when he speaks about his work and has raised millions of dollars for his charity through both his books and his frequent speaking tours.
The suit being pursued by Reinhart and Price proposes that any monetary damages awarded be placed into a trust and directed to schoolchildren in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's books editor.