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The Big Boys of Book Burning and a Book Buying Binge

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”—Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821)

In 1497, Savonarola, a Florentine religious fanatic with a large following, instigated “bonfires of the vanities” which destroyed books and paintings by some of the greatest artists of Florence.  (The following year he was hung from a cross and burned, along with his propaganda.)  In 1933, a series of massive bonfires in Nazi Germany burned thousands of books written by Jews, communists, and others.  On September 11, 2010, a certain Florida pastor is threatening to burn the Koran, hoping to go down in history as one of the big boys of book burning.

Call me unambitious, but I’d rather buy books than burn them.  So to anyone who leaves their mailing address on the comment section of this blog on September 11, I will send a free copy of a book that promotes construction, rather than destruction—Three Cups of Tea:  One Man’s Mission to Build Peace…One School at a Time. A portion of the proceeds of this book will go to Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute, which has built over 145 schools, most of them for girls, in the remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It will be my pleasure to buy you a book, to celebrate Mortenson, a humble man of good deeds.  It will be my way of throwing one small bucket of cold water on a Florida pastor with illusions of grandeur.

Please note:  Your address will not appear on the blog; I will not share it or save it.  This is a gift, free and clear.

  1. Diane Giombetti Clue
    September 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Amen, Laurel – thanks for posting this, and for your generous gesture.

  2. September 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Congratulations Laurel for all your great work. And thanks for your offer – send a book to a friend. I’ve read “Three Cups of Tea” — it’s a perfect reminder that one person can start something important and very much needed.

    If the press had been less accommodating Jones would never have been noticed. But is that even possible now with media being what it is? MEL

  3. Laurie
    September 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    This is a tremendous gesture. I will leave my address in an e-mail(?)
    Thank you! Laurie Burke

    • September 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Your book is on its way, Laurie.

  4. Laura Tomasko
    September 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Well said, Laurel. Thank you for the generous offer of Three Cups of Tea. I will send my mailing address in an email. Thanks! Laura

  5. Kelli Carter
    September 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Laurel,
    I love Greg Mortenson’s work and thank you for supporting him. With all the hate going on it is sad that they would destroy books. I have read a few articles about Greg Mortenson and the schools he has opened for young girls. He has made amazing progress over there. I have not read the book yet and it would be a pleasure. Thanks again for supporting such a great cause.

  6. Lucy Marciglaino
    September 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I would love to read this book. Thank you Laurel!
    I will send you my email.

    • September 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      Lucy, I have reached my limit on the number of Three Cups of Tea that Amazon will sell to me, so I will be sending you Stones into Schools, also by Greg Mortenson and an even better book, in my opinion. You will receive it on Oct. 26, the day it is released in paperback.

  7. Susan Smith
    September 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Laurel, I am just catching up on email and wanted to say “bravo” on your well written blog piece and your moving gesture! Jones got way too much attention…

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