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1. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951:
2. Arrested Histories: Tibet, the
3. Tibet & Its History
4. Ancient Tibet (Tibetan History
5. A History of Modern Tibet, volume
6. The Cultural History of Tibet
7. Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History
8. The Snow Lion and the Dragon:
9. The History of Buddhism in India
10. Tibet: A Political History
11. In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret
12. Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle,
13. A Year in Tibet
14. The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet:
15. The History of Tibet (Curzon in
16. My Tibet, Text by his Holiness
17. The Culture of the Book in Tibet
18. Lhasa: An Account of the Country
19. The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual
20. Imagining Tibet: Perceptions,

1. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State
by Melvyn C. Goldstein
Paperback: 936 Pages (1991-06-18)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$39.02
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Asin: 0520075900
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The "Tibetan Question," the nature of Tibet's political status vis--vis China, has been the subject of often bitterly competing views while the facts of the issue have not been fully accessible to interested observers. While one faction has argued that Tibet was, in the main, historically independent until it was conquered by the Chinese Communists in 1951 and incorporated into the new Chinese state, the other faction views Tibet as a traditional part ofChina that split away at the instigation of the British after the fall of the Manchu Dynasty and was later dutifully reunited with "New China" in 1951.In contrast, this comprehensive study of modern Tibetan history presents a detailed, non-partisan account of the demise of the Lamaist state.Drawing on a wealth of British, American, and Indian diplomatic records; first-hand-historical accounts written by Tibetan participants; and extensive interviews with former Tibetan officials, monastic leaders, soldiers, and traders, Goldstein meticulously examines what happened and why. He balances the traditional focus on international relations with an innovative emphasis on the intricate web of internal affairs and events that produced the fall of Tibet. Scholars and students of Asian history will find this work an invaluable resourceand interested readers will appreciate the clear explanation of highly polemicized, and often confusing, historical events. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Serious Scholarship Demonstrated
Contrary to what the Tibet Independence crowd would have you believe, doubtlessly shouting against the author with great vituperation, this work is no pro-China, anti-Tibet polemic.

What we learn from this work is the basic fact that there is no Tibet independence today because it historically never was an independent state, and that there was in fact no Chinese invasion. Indeed, the "Demise of the Lamaist State" is not a story of Chinese brutality against a "defenseless country" (where most monks were actually armed soldiers), but of a failure by Tibetans themselves to actually assert a "country" against their centuries-long cultural/political relationship with China, which outweighed everything in contrast to their relationship with India.

Professor Goldstein is a scholar worthy of great respect. He has the scholarly credentials required to even undertake the task of writing a history as he is first and foremost a linguist of Tibetan language; his "Modern Spoken Tibetan: Lhasa Dialect" (1970) is an invaluable resource on Tibetan language. Hence, when he outlines under the "Sources and Methods" in his Preface the Oral Historical Data (xx-xxiii) the reader can be completely confident the author knows his stuff.

And despite the attempts of the Tibetan refugee government in India to stymie his research into the truth of Tibetan history by denying the author access to several manuscripts written by former Tibetan officials (xxiv), Professor Goldstein still succeeds at getting to the truth of events by the depth and breadth of his research; a stunning outcome no doubt unanticipated the Tibet Independence crowd.

As a serious scholar himself, the author presents readers nothing of his own personal opinions about Tibet but simply fills the book with monumental amount of historical documentations. In fact, the central point of this work is to actually seek to answer by first understanding the underlying question "What is/was Tibet?" Thus we the reader learn about Tibet's feudal history, its manorial system ruled by Lama Buddhist clergy, its attempts to modernize, and ultimately its failure to achieve positive and healthy reforms against their own feudal order. These are among the facts the Tibet Independence crowd would rather not be publicly aired even by capable and respectable scholars because it undermines their current political agenda at vilifying China for their own failures, past and current.

1-0 out of 5 stars Read Tsering Shakya's history of Tibet instead
This lengthy tome is written with its end in view - literally.Goldstein is a noted apologist for the Chinese, and while the book is meticulously researched, to a certain extent his interpretation of events, and who he chooses to quote or use as a source is revealing. Goldstein views the overthrow of Tibet as some sort of natural progression - ascribing to Maoist positivism, if you like. That is a convenient interpretation from the Chinese point of view.

Shakya Tsering's book is far superior.Goldstein's book would make a handy supply of toilet paper for a few months.

4-0 out of 5 stars Behind the curtain
Thank you Prof. Goldstein.An excerpted version of this book ought to be required reading for every Western follower of some Tibetan Lama. To puncture the fantasies of devotees would be a service not only to those who believe in guru yoga but to the Tibetan Government in Exile whose moral authority would be enhanced by acknowledging historical truth rather than spreading increasingly transparent propaganda.
Where to begin.This book is both a hidden gem and an eye opener.Though I have been trying to find out about Tibetan history for a long time now, I only just came across the first of Prof. Goldstein's two volumes and am now voraciously consuming the second.When in around 1944 the dobdo (fighting or punk, like street punk) monks of Sera Che college of the great Sera monastery (one of the three ruling monasteries of the current Dalai Lama's Gelugpa sect) threatened to kidnap and sexually molest the students of a recently opened English language school in Lhasa because its modern ways might corrupt the only Buddhist theocracy in the world, they were making a statement about the realities of Tibetan life.The school had been opened by the Regent as one of many feeble attempts to create the skills Tibet might need to meet the challenge of the changing world around them.The gentry quickly withdrew their sons, and the school was closed putting another nail in the coffin of Tibetan preparedness.In the 20th century, if it wasn't the British invading or slicing off trans-Himalayan pieces of Tibet, it was the Chinese ruling mixed Chinese/Tibetan regions of Eastern greater (or inner) Tibet or claiming suzerainty over it all.And even Eastern areas like Kham had little more loyalty to Lhasa (which exploited and abused them) than to China. They spoke different dialects (and we aren't really informed whether they were racially different but there were indigenous peoples in Tibet who were not so enamored of what they felt were invading Lamistic Buddhists).
Little have my Tibetan-Buddhist-following friends told me of the corporal punishment so continuously applied to common offenders and people regarded as treasonous by one or another faction. Capital punishment was carried on even though it had been banned by the 13th Dalai Lama in 1898. The last secular leader who attempt real reform before the Chinese take over had his eyes put out for his efforts and the first Regent for the current Dalai Lama was poisoned in prison by his successor, a very holy man.
The one Tibetan reviewer on Amazon of this book accuses Goldstein of being a Chinese propagandist.Goldstein may come to conclusions that both current and past Chinese claimants to suzerainty over Tibet might embrace.That doesn't invalidate his attempts to portray Tibetan history as best as he can.Goldstein had groundbreaking access to historical records and added to that invaluable interviews with some of the participants in the events (though the government in exile has withheld documents--unlike the Israelis who have had the courage to allow historians access to documents revealing some of their shameful behavior in the wake of 1948 Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001). His interviews break through what might otherwise be a history distorting solidarity with the government in exile.Because his co-respondents thought he possessed the diaries of one of the main actors in the 1930s to 50s, and would be able to catch them out in misstatements, they shared what otherwise was to be protected for political reasons.I used such a technique to great effect when doing interviews years ago with secretive scientists.When they got the sense I knew much more than I was saying, they would fess up about things they otherwise left out or glossed over.Having been the recipient of such tactics on the part of the FBI, I understand their effectiveness.Thank you Prof. Goldstein for prying a layer deeper.
If I have one reservation about the book it is that there are too many primary documents in it.I know that much of what he is presenting is new material and by making the documents available to historians for the first time, Prof. Goldstein is doing a great scholarly service.But for the non-specialist reader, it is a chore to wade through the long excerpts for the pithy sentences whichsummarize the historical importance of the document.Literarily, I wish he had written a much more narrative book and left the documents for a scholarly compendium.This would have made the book much more accessible and brought it the wider audience it deserves.Such a volume would more usefully aid in an understanding of how Tibet, her current population, her Chinese overlords and her exile claimants fit into the world.
Whether Prof. Goldstein's thesis that reactionary monastic religious elements, for their own sectarian self interest (including monastic revenues--in the 1940s fighting monks brutally murdered a revenue agent who suspended their tax collection because of a poor harvest), prevented Tibet from changing so as to meet the challenge of the outside world is correct or not, he has made a good case for it.In the 1920s the 13th Dalai Lama turned away from modernization because of monastic opposition. His somewhat modernized army was allowed to deteriorate (although there was justifiable fear it would exert political influence).In the crucial period of WWII, factions fought each other. The government often dithered, sticking its head in the sand. It delayed and sometimes did not respond, hoping things would go away.They continued such behavior even though it had led to the 1904 British invasion Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. Flight to Mongolia, India or China was a major strategy employed by Panchen and Dalai Lamas.Although Tibet was much less isolated than Sikkim or Bhutan, very few Tibetans with power wanted to know about the outside world. Reactionaries would not let the young be trained in foreign languages so crucial to defense. There was opposition to the installation of two way radios, and a landing strip near Lhasa was forbidden.A Tibetan Burma road was stalled. The government and ruling lamas consulted oracles to make decisions (and accused each other or rigging the results).Despite the fact that Lhasa had not been able to vet a Chinese chosen Panchen Lama (a prerogative they insisted was theirs), their oracles conveniently confirmed him when it was clear the Chinese would punish Tibet if Lhasa refused (so much for vaunted transcendent Buddhist/political rule).There were many religious and regional factions who felt that Tibet would be better off under the Chinese than letting British influence creep in and challenge entrenched power or ways of life). The first Regent of the current Dalai Lama appealed for support from China for his attempt to regain the Regency.
It is incumbent upon those whose political interests are threatened by the thesis to show Professor Goldstein wrong.According to Alex McKay, no one has yet to even dented it History of Tibet (Curzon in Association With Iias, 9). Current exile Tibetans and their Western followers are still hawking the ideologies the great monasteries used to justify their continued power.Tibet, they claim, has uniquely conjoined Buddhism and politics into a higher moral synthesis.While the ideas swirling around the Dalai Lama are certainly inspiring and goals toward which to aspire, it would be refreshing if those same proponents would acknowledge the realities of Tibetan history and show how they have intruded in current situation in both positive and negative ways.That commitment to the truth might or might not help their cause but it would align them with the higher morality they claim.As Thomas Becket in T.S. Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral" says, "...and striving with political men may make that cause political."And political the situation is whether just the same old thing in monks robes or worldly action held to a higher standard, Prof. Goldstein's book helps illuminate.It may be that, as a small country surrounded byempires (China, Britain, Russia), Tibet would have succumbed no matter what it had done.But as Tito, Vietnam, Cuba, Spain, Israel, Iran and others have shown, if you are willing to prepare and resist, you may have a chance to preserve your way of life.In the case of Tibet, as Prof. Goldstein has shown, it was the way of life which put the country at risk.
Charlie Fisher Dismantling Discontent: Buddha's Way Through Darwin's World

1-0 out of 5 stars More of a beach book on Tibetan history than a scholarly work.
While informative and detailed in certain episodes of Tibetan history, one can't help feeling that the book was written with a predetermined thesis in mind, which therefore dictated which areas to bring into focus and which areas, no matter how important, to gloss over in a paragraph or two. In that respect, I would conclude that it is an incomplete book at best, and a dishonest one if it is intended to be viewed as an unbiased scholarly endeavour. The book succeeds more in echoing much of China's narrative on why Tibet had to be 'liberated' then in portraying a true account of a 2000 year old nation that was dealing with the forces of global shift and modernity 150 years after countries like Japan had undergone them already, but with the added complication of having to deal with two belligerent and expansionist forces on it's borders; Colonial British India to the south and a China to the east that was trying to define itself as a modern nation at the same time and conducting internal debates on whether to establish a homogenous ethnic Chinese state or to lay claim to all areas that had agreements and relations with the Mongol and Manchu dynasties.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This is, by any standard, a great book. Its level of erudition, rigour and insight are unmatched by anything else on offer aboutmodern Tibetan history. It is an herculean opus, both in scope and in depth. Moreover, the astonishing fact that is also highly readable recommends it even to the reader with a casual interest in Tibet. Its only arguable drawback is, paradoxically, that such a towering achievement is bound to virtually determine the reader's perspective on the topic. In order to get additional and possibly alternative insights, you will have to wade through books, however worthy, whose scholarship doesn't remotely match Goldstein's.
... Read more

2. Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War
by Carole McGranahan
Paperback: 328 Pages (2010-01-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$13.50
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Asin: 0822347717
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In the 1950s, thousands of ordinary Tibetans rose up to defend their country and religion against Chinese troops. Their citizen army fought through 1974 with covert support from the Tibetan exile government and the governments of India, Nepal, and the United States. Decades later, the story of this resistance is only beginning to be told and has not yet entered the annals of Tibetan national history. In Arrested Histories, the anthropologist and historian Carole McGranahan shows how and why histories of this resistance army are “arrested” and explains the ensuing repercussions for the Tibetan refugee community.

Drawing on rich ethnographic and historical research, McGranahan tells the story of the Tibetan resistance and the social processes through which this history is made and unmade, and lived and forgotten in the present. Fulfillment of veterans’ desire for recognition hinges on the Dalai Lama and “historical arrest,” a practice in which the telling of certain pasts is suspended until an undetermined time in the future. In this analysis, struggles over history emerge as a profound pain of belonging. Tibetan cultural politics, regional identities, and religious commitments cannot be disentangled from imperial histories, contemporary geopolitics, and romanticized representations of Tibet. Moving deftly from armed struggle to nonviolent hunger strikes, and from diplomatic offices to refugee camps, Arrested Histories provides powerful insights into the stakes of political engagement and the cultural contradictions of everyday life.

... Read more

3. Tibet & Its History
by Hugh Richardson
Paperback: 328 Pages (1986-08-12)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$53.50
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Asin: 0877733767
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4. Ancient Tibet (Tibetan History Series)
by Tarthang Tlku
Paperback: 382 Pages (1986-03-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 0898001374
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An account of Tibet that combines ancient, original sources with current scientific research. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Easy read overview
replete with data, of Tibetan prehistory and the Old Tibetan kingdom/empire. Numerous sketch maps, (comparative) chronological tables, genealogical lists, etc. enhance the points made in the written material. The language and level of discussion resemble those of a high school book rather than those found in academic studies.

Part I (pp. 1-74): geological formation and geography of the Tibetan Plateau, regions of Tibet, fauna and flora.

Part II (pp. 75-180): Stone Age archaeological sites; legends describing the eight classes of non-human beings (sde brgyad mi-ma-yin) inhabiting the land in ancient times; the nomadic K'iang/Ch'iang/Qiang people (with their supposed Indo-European connections) of contemporary Chinese accounts; semi-mythical Tibetan rulers from gNya'-khri btsan-po (2nd half of the 3rd century BCE?) through Gri-gum btsan-po (1st c. BCE?) to the historical gNam-ri Slon-mtshan (late 6th c. CE); ancient Tibetan progenitor(ial) tribes like the bSe, dMu, sTong and lDong, which in certain sources were viewed as being related to neighbouring ethnicities such as the (Turko-?) Mongolic 'A-zha/T'u-yü-hun of the Koko Nor area, the Indo-Iranian (?) Zhang-zhung in the West, the Sum-pa of Byang-thang (Northern Plains), and the Tibeto-Burman Mi-nyag (later Tangut) in the East/NE, respectively.

Part III (pp. 181-322): the expansion and consolidation of Tibetan rule in Inner Asia during the Yar-lung dynasty's reign (618-842 CE); military campaigns; shifting strategic alliances with local powers; political marriages w/ Tang princesses; invention of the Tibetan script; the gradual introduction of Buddhism from China and India (via Nepal); the 3 dharma kings (chos-rgyal: Srong-b[r]tsan Sgam-po, Khri Srong-lde-btsan, Ral-pa-can) and others; the role noble councillors/ministers from influential clans played in the royal court; fragmentation of the empire under Glang-dar-ma's successors, Yum-brtan and 'Od-srung (2nd half of the 9th c.).

Appendices (pp. 323-38), bibliography (pp. 339-49), glossary (pp. 350-56), index (pp. 357-71).

5-0 out of 5 stars A great first step for those who wish to further study Tibet
A land absorbed by the communist Chinese, Tibet has a history as ancient as any other Chinese nation. "Ancient Tibet" turns to this civilization's ancient culture and heritage drawing on the thousands of years of recorded history for this most sacred place for the Buddhist religion. Tracing both the political and cultural history of the region, it paints a picture of one of the most religious regions on the planet and lays out the basics of understanding its people. A great first step for those who wish to further study Tibet, "Ancient Tibet" is very highly recommended reading.
... Read more

5. A History of Modern Tibet, volume 2: The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955 (Philip E. Lilienthal Books)
by Melvyn C. Goldstein
Paperback: 676 Pages (2009-04-13)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$20.21
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Asin: 0520259955
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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It is not possible to fully understand contemporary politics between China and the Dalai Lama without understanding what happened--and why--during the 1950s. In a book that continues the story of Tibet's history that he began in his acclaimed A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State, Melvyn C. Goldstein critically revises our understanding of that key period in midcentury. This authoritative account utilizes new archival material, including never before seen documents, and extensive interviews with Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, and with Chinese officials. Goldstein furnishes fascinating and sometimes surprising portraits of these major players as he deftly unravels the fateful intertwining of Tibetan and Chinese politics against the backdrop of the Korean War, the tenuous Sino-Soviet alliance, and American cold war policy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, give or take a point or two
This is an excellent, illuminating book, in line with Goldstein's preceding volume. It is both superbly researched and highly readable, thanks to the author's admirable capacity to weave significant quotations and documents into his narrative. This said, a couple of issues may be raised. First and most important, in analyzing this chunk of Tibetan history Goldstein adopts a consistent approach, reflecting his views. This is fully acceptable, but sometimes one gets the impression that the author's perspective has become static and schematic, as if he had partially lost his previous sensitivity to the events on the ground. The previous volume's extraordinarily vivid image of Lhasa's life and society is no longer there and the author seems to have become somewhat estranged from Tibetan mentality. Second, while it is impossible for anyone to fully grasp the complexity of Tibetan life and culture, Goldstein's relative indifference to its essential religious dimension is quite apparent here. This is a book that anyone interested in recent Tibetan history should read, but other perspectives may be well worth exploring.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, exciting, but over-stuffed
Like his first volume on the history of Tibet, Dr. Goldstein has written the definitive account of the period from 1951-1955.Based on incredibly extensive research--including his own interviews with many of the major protagonists and primary documents in English, Tibetan, and Chinese--Goldstein has painted a fascinating and counter-intuitive account of the first few years after China's "liberation" of Tibet.Even for those steeped in Chinese politics, this account will provide surprises, insights, and anecdotes of great value.Mao's role as the principal proponent and defender of the gradual reform of Tibet is almost surreal in view of his later actions and his role in the Cultural Revolution.The impact of internal party conflicts--such as between the Northwest and Southwest armies and the role of Sichuan party secretary Li Jingquan--provide a new level of explanation for the 1959 revolt. Such documentation as the transcripts of conversations between Mao and the Panchen Lama and between Zhou Enlai and Li Jingquan are priceless.The anecdote about Zhou diverting to Chengdu to greet the Dalai Lama on the way back to Tibet shows Zhou's prototypically astute attention to detail and political sensitivity.Although I anxiously await the next volume, I hope Dr. Goldstein and his editor will choose to relegate some of the lengthy primary material to appendices or footnotes.At times, its volume gets in the way of, rather than elucidating, the fascinating story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Serial Mystery
I feel like I have been reading a mystery story. I have the first part of the mystery in Goldstein's first volume and in the second we are shown the honeymoon between the Chinese and the Tibetans after China coerced Tibet into union.We know the eventual outcome (because we have been beaten over the head with the final chapters of the who-done-it) in Chinese repression, but the period between '51 and '55 seems like an idyll of occupation completely out of spirit with most modern conquests and what is known of later Chinese history such as the Cultural Revolution.The Chinese, as occupiers, were positively gentle towards the Tibetans, and Mao's overruling hardliners is so out of character of what we know of the later Mao, it is hard to believe.
What an odd historical period.By invading eastern Tibet the Chinese forced the Lhasa to accede to being gently occupied, and the Dalai Lama (using the exile gambit like his predecessors) returns.The Chinese arrive with overwhelming troops and the Tibetan old guard, refusing to acknowledge their defeat, constantly insult and resist them.Mao insists that the occupiers swallow it without withdrawing.His strategy is to take as long as needed to win over reactionary Tibetans to change, leaving in place Tibetan feudalism (remember this is revolutionary China) until change can come about without resistance.From where we now stand this looks like a completely cynical policy, but it wasn't in 1955.The Dalai Lama (19 years old) is almost completely won over on his trip to China (except, despite the fact the occupiers in Tibet both gave money to and placated the monasteries, being upset by Mao's one reference to religion being a poison), so much so that Mao has to constantly hold him back from changes the Dalai Lama might have wanted to make.In fact, on returning to Tibet, the monasteries and gentry stop the integration of the Tibetan into China's and the elimination of Tibetan currency. For all his vaunted god-king, living Buddha status the 14th Dalai Lama, like his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama, is more a prisoner of the monasteries and aristocracy than their leader.That is how this volume is left.We can see the roots of resistance growing, but their soil is more reactionary traditional Tibet rather than the result of beingexploited or abused by their Chinese conquerors.The exception, of course, is seen only peripherally in the ethnically Tibetan parts of China and in occupied Kham where the changes which China is making to China effect the Chinese Tibetans.It would have been nice if Goldstein would have said more about these goings on.But then I assume he was saving that for his third volume leading up to the 1959 uprising, whose appearance is awaited.The only criticism I have of this book is that, like volume one, there is too much primary material included which the author could have summarized making the narrative read more smoothly.Despite this Goldstein has done us a great service.
Charlie Fisher author of Dismantling Discontent: Buddha's Way Through Darwin's World

1-0 out of 5 stars A History of Modern Tibet. Volume 2, The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955
This book could have been written not by a Professor of a major American University but the Communist Party of China (CCP). Professor Goldstein had long been suspected of being CCP's "running dog propagandist" in the West. Well, in this book, good old professor breaks from subtle nuances of previous works and openly takes side. Here the Tibetans are the bad guys and Chinese Communist are the good guys. Read for yourselves if you want to! ... Read more

6. The Cultural History of Tibet
by David L. Snellgrove
Paperback: 309 Pages (2006-07-18)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$23.10
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Asin: 9745240338
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Drawn from inscriptions and texts among the primary sources of Tibet, India, China and Central Asia, as well as a wealth of secondary sources through the ages and the authors' personal experiences, this is a definitive survey of Tibetan history, religion and its rich, complex culture. In Snellgrove's words, the book serves to "keep in public view the clear historical right of the Tibetan people to self-determination". It contains a new preface and an obituary describing the life and career of Hugh Richardson (1905-2000), by co-author David Snellgrove. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars May complement Samuel's "Civilized Shamans"
This earlier work seems mostly trumped by Geoffry's Samuel's more recent and comprehensive (and apparently more accurate) "Civilized Shamans". I'm just a lay reader so my assessment could be wrong, but Samuels provides evidence of a much richer non-clerical influence than Snellgrove and Richardson do.

Both books acknowledge the role of the Bon religion, but Samuels is more inclined to be skeptical of Bon claims to pre-date Buddhism. Samuels also seems more inclined to acknowledge at times limitations in our knowledge of Tibetan history.

Whereas Snellgrove and Richardson make only mention once of Dzogchen, Samuels refers to it in a number of passages, including one that ties it to Bon. To be fair to a "Cultural History of Tibet", it is less than half the length of Samuel's book.

What I don't know is how much has been learned since "A Cultural History of Tibet" was written around 1968 that might conflict with it. My impression is that most of it would withstand the test of time except the big challenge that Samuels presents in "Civilized Shamans" by digging into Tibetan history and uncovering a stronger non-clerical influence than Richardson and Snellgrove present.

Again, I am only a layman and I'm trusting that Samuels' presentation is based on the high level of scholarship it seems to reflect. There may be no "either/or choice" here: "A Cultural History of Tibet" is organized well and packed with facts and assessments.

5-0 out of 5 stars A well-balanced History of Tibet
This is the best book I have read on the history of Tibet, especially as it pertains to religion.It fairly treats the BON as well as all four Sectsof Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism equally.Unlike other histories or recent art books on Tibet written by western converts, this work does not reflect a personal political agenda. ... Read more

7. Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land
by Patrick French
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2003-10-14)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$9.00
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Asin: 1400041007
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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When Patrick French was a teenager, the Dalai Lama visited his school in northern England. Fascinated by this exotic apparition, French began what was to become a lifelong quest to understand Tibet, the myth and the fact. He would immerse himself in the history, travel as the guest of ordinary Tibetans–nuns, nomads, and exiles–and organize Free Tibet activists from an office in London. Now he gives us a kaleidoscopic account of that journey.
Part memoir, part travel book, part history, Tibet, Tibet ventures beyond our world-weary fantasies to discover the truth behind a culture’s struggle for survival. In French’s narrative, a land adored for peaceful spirituality reveals its surprising early history of fierce war-making. Here as well are the centuries-old legends of how Tibetan diplomats maneuvered deftly at the Chinese court, legends that inform to this day each people’s view of the other. A perennial vassal state, Tibet nevertheless managed to preserve its distinctive culture for centuries–until the twentieth, when everything was destroyed with devastating speed by Mao’s overwhelming forces.

Today, as Chinese tourists take snapshots and buy kitsch at Tibetan monasteries, young nuns quietly continue the underground fight against Communist rule. In Dharamsala, over cappuccino, exiled monks pitch their cause to Western pilgrims decked out in gaudy robes. Tibetans recall the terrible days of the Great Leap Forward and eagerly ask French for news of the Dalai Lama. In the presence of this internationally revered spiritual and political leader, French retains a measure of his youthful amazement, but finally, inescapably, he comes to disturbing conclusions about His Holiness’s role in his people’s collective tragedy.

With immense learning and a clear but compassionate eye, Patrick French gives us a sober new understanding of a culture’s senseless catastrophe and allows us to see what realistically can–and cannot–be done to alleviate it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ever Wonder about Tibet?
This book is by Patrick French. A theme of the book is that the real Tibet is not like the Tibet of the mind (what we probably imagine Tibet to be). This was certainly true for me.

I have always been somewhat fascinated with the idea of Tibet - sort of like Shangri-La to me - until Mao got involved, at least. All those peaceful Buddhists and all that.

Well, the facts are a little different. Tibet wasn't all that peaceful before Mao arrived, and it was really a bad place after that and until fairly recently, it seems. Mao really caused some bad things there. The Tibetans have my sympathy.

As an aside, I remember an episode from the Honeymooner's (1950's TV) where Ralph Kramden (the main character) reads aloud from a newspaper about a new road from Tibet to Mongolia. Sounded like a good deal. Well, Mao came as part of that bargain - if indeed the road was not made up for the program.

The Dali Lama is shown in a sympathetic light, but not as perfect by any means. Of course, events were not totally in his control to say the least.

I liked the book, except for one or two things. The book is written as a travelogue interspersed with historical background; this usually worked for me, but didn't in some places. The author suddenly is in the middle of nowhere in western China when the book really gets started. It is a bit disjointed at times. Also, the historical background sometimes goes on so long and gets a little off topic based on where the author is at that point, that one can get a little lost at times. Not fatal flaws, but there could have been better editing here and there.

The author did a good job overall. Give it a try.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Admitted Tibetophile Comes to Terms with the Truth
I have been boning up on Chinese history and culture for nearly a decade now, and am to the point where I consider myself to be relatively well versed. Tibet, on the other hand, has always been rather hazy; informed by the Heinrich Harrer novel, a book on Tibetan Buddhism by Sogyal Rinpoche, and a rather short visit there. That is, until I read Patrick French's book. And what a book it is.

After years of idealizing the remote land and its culture and inhabitants, Mr. French (a Tibetophile and former head of a Free Tibet organization) finally allows his powers of perception to override preconceptions based upon an archtype lodged deep within the recesses of his Western psyche. The conclusions he comes to (via investigation and a great deal of research) are sobering, if not chilling.

What makes this book exceptional is that it is so good on so many levels. There's a lot of information here (I read it twice) and it makes for a very unique travel narrative. Think Tibetans are a non-violent people? Read their history. Believe Buddhists to be a sagacious lot of semi-divine beings? Think again. Western leaders are going to stand up to China any day now, aren't they? The author provides us with an overview of their efforts to date. Not even the Dalai Lama, who French interviews (and deeply respects) is exempt from the writer's newly found (compassionate) scrutiny. Quite simply, this is a vastly engaging book; one that says as much about China as Tibet.

Troy Parfitt, author

4-0 out of 5 stars The Objective Tibet
This book operates on three levels - as a historical text that links the current Tibet back to its historical roots, as a travelogue that describes the author's journey through Tibet, the places he goes through, the sights he sees, &, finally, as journalistic interviews of seemingly ordinary people but who historically, or in the current context, represent a section of people who have shaped Tibet.

Together these three approaches create a very coherent & complete picture of Tibet both socio-politically within Chinese borders as well as in the world outside, particularly the West. French also seems to be a cogent analyst of events, & his objectivity comes across many-a-time when he discusses issues like the political lameness of the "Free Tibet" movement in the west, the Dalai Lama's political failures to take advantage of certain Chinese overtures in the past, & Tibet's own societal ideologies in the latter part of the second millenium that contributed to its fall to China.

And luckily, because histories mingle, this is also a book on China, the Cultural Revolution & its horrors, Chairman Mao's rise to power, his ruthless version of communism & other Chinese political currents & customs.

Overall, a most informative & analytical book - one that'll help the interested reader appreciate the current realities of Tibet holistically.


5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book on modern Tibet
Just finished this fascinating book. Arguably, it appears to be the most honest (i.e., authentic) book on Tibet that I've yet read. The author shares his journey into modern Tibet and provides interviews the numerous people he mets. He examines the evils of the communist takeover, including the horrors perpetrated upon millions of innocent souls by Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and other monsters.

Consistent with ethical authors who are concerned with reporting facts, rather the create propaganda to support their own view, French tells it like it is - including such things as the flawed policies of the American government to support the communists in pursuit of the almighty dollar, rather than standing up for the freedom of those (i.e., Tibetans) oppressed by the communists. Richard Nixon's visits to China were discussed and Henry Kissinger's vile actions were simply unconscionable.

While it is clearly evident that the author has a long history of supporting the Tibetan cause, he also discusses problems inherent with the Tibetan government-in-exile that have aggravated their own cause. Sadly, the author maintains that the mistakes that have already been made will not be resolved until the massive problems within the Chinese (not Tibetan) regime are toppled.

I would highly recommend this book to those interested in this topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Real Tibet vs. the Mind's Tibet: Realpolitik vs. Romance
This book combines French's clandestine and seemingly aborted (given Chinese surveillance) visit to Tibet in 1999 with a history and a context that brings into focus, more clearly and therefore more shockingly, the cultural destruction perpetrated in the name of Communism by the Chinese. The history is eye-glazing too often, but the personal encounters keep you reading regardless of too much diplomatic and biographical digression. French labors to demystify this realm, and his careful discussions span the whole variety of Tibetans caught within the grasp of a far more mighty and relentless regime, bent on obliterating what they do not contort to meet the expectations of a still-romanticized tourist trade. As he admits, no admirer of Tibet can fully abandon the romance that accompanies our visions of this land, but his book does separate what has been called the "mind's Tibet" from the considerably more broken and compromised real land and its people and its heritage.

French is too smart to gloss over the poverty that the some more well-intentioned Communists originally sought to eradicate when they overthrew the largely-feudal theocracy. He interviews an original member of such a delegation, and gives him as much a fair hearing as he does, in an unforgettably poignant scene, the account of an Amdo nomad who saw--in a single day--his land invaded and the outnumbered Tibetan warriors who rode against the People's Army's guns massacred. After one day, there was no more war, only guerrilla resistance that French shows was abandoned and left, without the US assistance promised, to be at the mercy of the Chinese. He interviews those remnants of the lower caste who cleaned the Potala, the fading few indigenous Muslims who had been there at least since the 12th century, and--over and over--those who have been broken by Chinese torture and imprisonment. His account of Tibet's fate in the Cultural Revolution and Mao's eagerness to "bombard the Headquarters" while "Maoists" marched in Paris in the same 1968 makes for grim comparison between Western naivete and Eastern pragmatism, perhaps the opposite of usual stereotypes.

He also, as a leading activist, takes on "Dalaidolatry" and how the current Dalai Lama has, perhaps unwittingly, been exploited by greedy book ghostwriters and failed to control the royalties and the rights that should have accrued. He even-handedly considers the failure of political rebellion against the Chinese and the impossiblity of changing Tibet for the better without changing China, and how the latter must precede the former, perhaps in another regime change in the future. Meanwhile, his prognosis is sobering: India will not let the exile government of Tibet last long after the current Dalai's demise, French predicts. China does not deep down care what the Tibetans can do to fight back for it is ultimately so little against so great a force. Tibet remains a backwater assignment for Chinese cadres, and ironically Tibetans who have chosen to collaborate can also guardedly gain in small amounts a better life for their compatriots, given the lack of power Tibet has.

Realpolitik has given the real Tibet little hope. "The Mind's Tibet" may have occupied a higher profile outside in the West, but practically it has achieved just a little in tangible human rights or political leverage. Recent events since this book have only confirmed French's conclusions that the West is only too happy to favor Chinese trade over Tibetan aspirations. In both Asian lands, the people still suffer in the name of a regime that claims to alleviate their long-inflicted pangs.

I hope readers who reliably buy the lavishly photographed and sumptuously presented displays of Tibet's terrain and heritage and read Buddhist popularizations of doctrine will also promote this book as a necessary, if dispiriting, antidote of the Real Tibet that should counteract too much that is peddled for the Mind's Tibet. In a better world, this book would provoke outrage and foment change against the Chinese regime. In our compromised condition, still, French's message of facing the reality that Tibet may not survive the depredations of the past half-century demand more than armchair reading or contemplative reverie. ... Read more

8. The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama
by Melvyn C. Goldstein
Paperback: 165 Pages (1999-04-02)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.99
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Asin: 0520219511
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Tensions over the political status of Tibet areescalating every day. The Dalai Lama has gained broad internationalsympathy in his appeals for autonomy from China, yet the Chinesegovernment maintains a hard-line position against it. What is thehistory of the conflict? Can the two sides come to an acceptablecompromise? In this thoughtful analysis, distinguished professor andlongtime Tibet analyst Melvyn C.Goldstein presents a balanced viewof the conflict as well as a proposal for the future.Clearly writtenand carefully argued, this book will become the definitive source foranyone seeking to understand the "Tibet Question" during thisdangerous turning point in its turbulent history.Amazon.com Review
Just the facts, Ma'am. Wouldn't it be nice if we could simplyinspect the historical record and resolve the question of whether ornot Tibet has traditionally been a part of China?Melvyn Goldstein,anthropologist and Tibet specialist, takes us in that direction inThe Snow Lion and the Dragon.

The results?Not so fast.Like a scientist analyzing experimental data, Goldstein walks usthrough centuries of unending political struggle and battles ofconquest. He shows us that Tibet first came under Chinese suzeraintyduring the Mongolian era and then for almost 300 years during the Manchuera. For the most part, The Snow Lion and the Dragon succeedsas chronicle of the power plays of two governments vying for controlof Tibet.

But when Goldstein speaks of the Chinese government, whatdoes he mean by "Chinese"?Does he mean the Mongols whenthey controlled the territory we call China and the Manchus when theydid?Were these legitimate Chinese governments?

AlthoughGoldstein is sincere in his objective methods, many questions such asthese lurk behind the illusion objectivity. Ultimately, history isinterpretation, and without admitting this, Goldstein lures the readerinto a false sense of complacency.

The Snow Lion and theDragon is a helpful historical summary for anyone who wonders howthe Tibet Question has played itself out from the beginning up until1997, but for an adequate examination of historical subtletiessurrounding the issue, we must continue to wait. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

1-0 out of 5 stars Visa approved.
After having written this book on Tibet's history, Goldstein is still able to easily get visas to conduct research inside Tibet by the Chinese authorities. This tells you how his books and research conclusions are viewed by the CCP.

4-0 out of 5 stars A quick and relatively balanced overview of 1000 year of sino-tibet history
I am not an expert in this area, and just want a quick but balanced overview of the history between Tibet and China to form the basis of my own view of the situation.This book provides exactly that.Any one who read this book will appreciate the complexity of the relationship between the two.Interestingly, it also helps one to understand why UK and US are so interested or dis-interested in Tibet issue during different time in the history.The book made another strong impression on me, that is: how much history is really about the power struggle of the rulers/elite classes in the name of religion/culture/nationalism and so rarely (almost never) is about the people's interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction by preeminant Tibet scholar
If you're looking to start diving into the mire of the Tibet Question, then this is the place to start. Don't rely on obviously biased materials from people with vested interests like the PRC or even the FREE TIBET campaign. They have agendas. Goldstein, however, is one of the best western scholars on Tibet. He knows Tibetan language and culture well, and this book is a very concise (read: incomplete) intro to the historical realities of the political dimension of Tibet today.

The book is short enough to not be daunting, and written well enough to hold one's attention and be understood thoroughly. No blathering about useless tangents and side points. I read it long ago, and it was a great jumping-off point to further research.

Further reading on the subject would include some of Goldstein's other books like "A History of Modern Tibet", as well as Tsering Shakya's "Dragon in the Land of Snows" and Barry Suatman's collected volume "Contemporary Tibet" which contains some good chapters by folks like Robert Barnett and other Tibetan and Chinese scholars.

This is where the real information is. Don't start with biased material. By all means read that stuff, but start with something that will give you a relatively neutral picture first, then judge for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars below expectations
Probably Melvyn Goldstein could not write something irrelevant about Tibet even if he wanted to, but here he comes unexpectedly close. This booklet is based on an "occasional paper" and it feels. This said, it still worth reading, but some distracted and vaguely cynical remarks leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seems a balanced presentation on a sensitive subject
Bear in mind that my background in Chinese and Tibetan history and politics is negligible. And that the fate of the Tibetan people is being considered. That said, this seemed at least a very readable account. I assume the historical facts in this book can be cross-checked for accuracy. As to Goldstein's analysis (done before 1998) of the future, he explored possibilities for compromise that, to date, seem not to have occurred. He also expresses concern about the possibility of further violence if an adequate compromise is not reached.

When looking into the Tibetan problem, I found primarily decidedly pro-Chinese or pro-Tibetan positions. Compromise may seem unreasonable. Since Goldstein appears to be trying to find a middle position, this book may be useful for anyone trying to get a less biased view of this issue. The presentation seemed clear enough that it could serve as an introduction to this issue, although it may well also be of use to readers with a more advanced background in this area. Goldstein seems to be primarily offering input and not conclusions, so whatever your position on the Tibet issue, this book may be informative. ... Read more

9. The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet
by Rin-Chen-Gru Bu-Ston, E. Obermiller
 Paperback: 221 Pages (2006-12-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.46
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Asin: 8188043419
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The quotations from both Sutras and shastra made it possible to get a clear picture of the principal sources from which Bu-Ton has compiled his history. ... Read more

10. Tibet: A Political History
by W. D. Shakabpa
 Paperback: 369 Pages (1984-06)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0961147415
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tibet: A Political History
It is a shame Tibet: A Political History is out of print. Although there are several books dealing with Tibetan history, this is quite meaningful in these times of academic and especially political dispute between Tibet and China over the historical status of Tibet as an independent nation beforethe Communist invasion of 1949-1950.

Although it focuses on politicalmatters, it doesn't neglect important aspects of religious development,which in the case of Tibet are crucial to understand the very specialevolution of the Tibetan State over the centuries, as well as Tibetanrelations with neighboring powers, such as the Chinese, Nepalese andMongols, to name a few.

It is also important to notice that even if it iswritten from a Tibetan point of view -the author was a government officer,not from the present Tibetan Government-in-Exile, but from the Tibetangovernment prior to the invasion-, it doesn't present the all-too-commonview of Tibet as a sort of Shangri-La, where Tibet was a paradise on Earthwhose inhabitants were quasi-angels until the Big Bad Communist Wolf cameand blew everything apart. There is a healthy amount of criticism tocertain Tibetan attitudes and actions over the centuries, thus making amore credible account of the country's history.

As one should expect froma good history book, there are references to several sources. The authoreven bothers to explain the differences of quoting in the academic Westernmanner, which he uses for his Western sources, and the traditionalTibetanway, which he also uses.

Perhaps there are more recent books whichcomprise better research, but this title should not be be missed, since itoffers a comprehensive history spanning from Tibet's mythological originsto the first years of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and it can beunderstood by specialists and general readers alike. Yale University Pressoriginally published it in 1967, and a new edition (to me it looks like afacsimile, except for the cover) was presented by Snow Lion Publications inthe nineties. I hope they will print it again some time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tibet: A Political History
...Although there are several books dealing with Tibetanhistory, this is quite meaningful in these times of academic andespecially political dispute between Tibet and China over thehistorical status of Tibet as an independent nation before the Communist invasion of 1949-1950.

Although it focuses on political matters, it doesn't neglect important aspects of religious development, which in the case of Tibet are crucial to understand the very special evolution of the Tibetan State over the centuries, as well as Tibetan relations with neighboring powers, such as the Chinese, Nepalese and Mongols, to name a few.

It is also important to notice that even if it is written from a Tibetan point of view -the author was a government officer, not from the present Tibetan Government-in-Exile, but from the Tibetan government prior to the invasion-, it doesn't present the all-too-common view of Tibet as a sort of Shangri-La, where Tibet was a paradise on Earth whose inhabitants were quasi-angels until the Big Bad Communist Wolf came and blew everything apart. There is a healthy amount of criticism to certain Tibetan attitudes and actions over the centuries, thus making a more credible account of the country's history.

As one should expect from a good history book, there are references to several sources. The author even bothers to explain the differences of quoting in the academic Western manner, which he uses for his Western sources, and the way Tibetan academics have traditionally done, which he also uses.

Perhaps there are more recent books which comprise better research, but this title should not be be missed, since it offers a comprehensive history spanning from Tibet's mythological origins to the first years of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and it can be understood by specialists and general readers alike... ... Read more

11. In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet
by Matteo Pistono
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2011-01-20)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$17.13
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Asin: 0525951199
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Spiritual biography meets edge-of-your-seat undercover reporting: how an American Buddhist smuggled out hard evidence of abuse and torture in Tibet.

For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S. government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen. Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet-he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim.

Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas looking for a simpler way of life. After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono's quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Pistono not only became the master's student but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India. This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure.

In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee-a stranger hiding in plain sight. It's about how a culture's rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future. It's about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse. It's also about Pistono's own journey from being a frustrated political activist to becoming a practicing Buddhist mystic, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace. ... Read more

12. Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope
by John B. Roberts II, Elizabeth A. Roberts
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2009-03-04)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
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Asin: 0814409830
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In March of 1959, a 23-year-old Tibetan youth named Tenzin Gyatso burst onto the world stage. Fleeing his native country to govern in exile from India, the Dalai Lama would go on to become one of the great leaders of our time. Then, in March 2008, the diplomat, icon, and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize was blamed for inciting violence in Tibet’s traditional capital of Lhasa. As 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s rule in exile, the situation in Tibet has become more volatile than ever. Now, China must decide if it will give Tibet the right to govern itself and what the consequences will be for its economy and its place on the world stage. Freeing Tibet is the incredible, heroic story of Tibet’s arduous struggle to keep freedom alive.

From the national uprising in 1959, which cost more than 85,000 Tibetans their lives, to the rise of the Tibetan freedom fighters; the aftereffects of Nixon’s historic visit to China, and preparations for the Dalai Lama’s successor, this seminal history offers an insider’s view of the 50-year struggle for autonomy. As a former Reagan White House political strategist, author John B. Roberts has had unprecedented access to the Dalai Lama’s inner circle. Based on interviews with CIA and political insiders, this epic story gives readers a new understanding of a conflict that continues to fascinate the world. Timely, impeccably researched, and hopeful, this is the book that will change the way we understand Tibet.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Espionage turns into counterculture and then protests
Credit Allen Ginsberg! His Beat quest crossed, in New Jersey, with Geshe Wangyal's Kalmyk refugees who founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in a garage. While Ginsberg's popularization of the dharma, repeated in this book, is well-known, Wangyal and his Tibetan colleagues provide the other side of a symbiotic relationship between the counterculture and the Establishment in their struggle to raise not only consciousness but funds and resistance within the occupied homeland for the cause of freedom.

The CIA, as the first part documents (within limits as much remains classified), tried to work within Cold War tensions, India-China frontier clashes, and propaganda benign and black to support Khampa freedom fighters in the Eisenhower administration. But, after secret guerrilla training in Saipan and Colorado, and airlifts into Tibet, the People's Liberation Army, in 1961, slaughtered the rebels in a "second Bay of Pigs" that today still is largely hush-hush, even to the Beltway-insider authors, who in this narrative rely on CIA operatives and released security directives to explain the role of spies and arms in the failed first stage for Tibet's struggle against Communism. With the Asian geopolitical tensions rising in the early '60s, Tibet was abandoned by Washington.

Part Two shows how Beats and then hippies-- and Ginsberg seems to be always in the vanguard-- took over the "ethical obligation" to Tibet. It concludes with an intriguing reflection. After the CIA's failure to support a popular uprising against vicious PLA reprisals, "shared spiritual values instead of political expendience" entered the awareness of the West. Therefore, "what appeared as a double-cross by the American government-- cold-hearted reneging on solemn promises to support the Dalai Lama during his exile-- was in reality a criss-cross, a moment in time when the surging counterculture took over from an establishment that had discarded the goal of Tibetan liberation." (173)

Published in 2008 after the latest uprising, Part Three therefore shows the little we know, given Chinese manipulation and censorship-- of the protests that March, that failed to derail international acclaim for the Beijing Olympics, and that did not result in Western leaders having the courage to boycott the most favored of all trading partners. Yet, the Roberts pair insist that, as with apartheid-era South Africa, divestment and boycotts can and would work against China to force a sort of Catalan autonomy within Spain parallel for Tibet.

Their proposals, on economic, moral, and environmental grounds, dovetail nicely with the book also from 2008 by an advocate they both quote often, Robert Thurman in his "Why the Dalai Lama Matters." What frightens one in the last stages of the Roberts book is that the present, aging Dalai Lama may not reincarnate, or that his reincarnation may be stage-managed as the Panchen Lama has by the Chinese.

The steady erosion of Tibetan culture, where 8 monasteries out of 6000 survived intact after the invasion and then the Cultural Revolution, continues. Native tour guides in Lhasa are replaced by Han Chinese parroting the party line of a grateful nation happy to be released from serfdom and pits of scorpions run by mad monks. The rail brings in immigrants; Tibetan is not taught but Chinese remains a must for traders and advancement of the dwindling indigenous population against the incomers who bring capitalism without ethics or respect for the Buddhist and local traditions.

While this efficient account moves smoothly through such details, it stumbles a bit in the early section, perhaps burdened inevitably by lots of diplomatic minutiae that historians and analysts will nonetheless welcome. The second part, with the Beats and hippies, moves more fluidly; the third part weighs one down with the realization that cheap labor and high profits from the PRC trump any committment by the East or West to lasting Chinese reform.

I'd have added a couple of clarifications. The 1904 British occupation of Lhasa by Col. Younghusband did lead to a treaty that forced Tibet's trade with the British in exchange for the Empire's recognition of its independence, but it also meant that the Chinese could twist this treaty with a foreign power into a reason to take over Tibet. The Manchus were deposed but the new Republic of China never ratified the Simla Conference of 1913-14 that acknowledged Tibetan independence. This issue is not mentioned by the Roberts, who maybe march too rapidly over early 20th century diplomatic foundations upon which the present Chinese later justified their long domination of Tibet.

Also, in the Dorje Shukden controversy, the "rival sect" possibly entangled with the murderous debate over the 17th Karmapa seems worthy of more coverage. The Roberts do not elaborate, but the controversy over the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) in the West that has spread an anti-Dalai Lama campaign taken up often by pro-PRC media appears deserving of attention, as this plays into the current political and cultural skirmishes over the Dalai Lama and his role in governing Tibetan affairs from his Dharamsala exile.

Still, these are minor asides compared to the moral necessity that most in East and West have shirked-- outside of a few celebrities, musicians, more low-key activists, and brave protesters. Our leaders tell us to trust in "blind faith that capitalism has some magical quality to transform China from a one-party communist state to a multi-party democracy." (246) We buy cheap goods, we send them our factories, and we rely on them to support our debt. But, we fail to make them a fairer regime for the Han let alone Tibetans. I hope this book finds an audience, and I hope it changes the complacency and indifference with which many dismiss Tibet today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Premier book on the subject
Authors John B. Roberts II and Elizabeth A. Roberts do such an outstanding job in Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope and I so hope lots of people read the book.

Have been concerned about Tibet since I was in my early twenties back in the early 70's. Wonder how many Buddhists even know that China wants the say in who will be the Dalai Lama, thus having two instead of the one Dalai Lama we all know.

Also of great interest is the history going back to the Eisenhower years. And while some may see the authors solutions as to simple, I happen to think and believe the authors make a lot of sense. My concern is what will the Obama administration do?

The fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to be extra nice the the Chinese when she met with them recently, I hope China doesn't think we as concerned Americans, don't care. Because many of us do.

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for any library strong in global issues and world politics
FREEING TIBET: 50 YEARS OF STRUGGLE, RESILIENCE, AND HOPE provides an inside story of how the 'free Tibet' movement was born and why it has lasted. Interviews with former CIA officers, government executives, and others provides new details on all aspects of Tibet's struggles, offering unusual insights into a movement maintained by millions around the world. A 'must' for any library strong in global issues and world politics.
... Read more

13. A Year in Tibet
by Shuyun Sun
Hardcover: 242 Pages (2008-01)
-- used & new: US$19.99
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Asin: 0007265115
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'A Year in Tibet' follows the author as she lives for eighteen months in a remote village in Tibet.Sun Shuyun grew up in China and has always been fascinated by Tibet and Buddhism. Now, accompanied by a television crew of Chinese and Tibetans, she spent a year in a remote town in the Tibetan mountain area and recorded what life is like for the people there. After half a century of Communist rule, Gyantse, once celebrated by early twentieth-century British explorers, has like the rest of Tibet seen the return of religion and much of the traditional way of life-but for how long? Sun Shuyun explores the intimate details of the lives of a shaman and his family, or monks, a village doctor, a Party worker, a hotel manager, and a rickshaw driver. Through them she captures the tensions between Chinese and Tibetans, between an ancient and an alien culture, faith and science, continuity and modernisation. This is a book with a difference: unusually, a realistic Chinese voice is calling for better understanding of a people who try to carve out the path they desire, often against the odds, often with joy and hope.Vivid, fascinating and visually brilliant, a Year in Tibet provides a rare insight into a Tibetan community under the pressure of change: from centuries of isolation through a difficult past to an uncertain present. ... Read more

14. The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing (China Program Books)
by Yingcong Dai
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-10-15)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$25.31
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Asin: 0295989521
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During China's last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), the empire's remote, bleak, and politically insignificant Southwest rose to become a strategically vital area. This study of the imperial government's handling of the southwestern frontier illuminates issues of considerable importance in Chinese history and foreign relations: Sichuan's rise as a key strategic area in relation to the complicated struggle between the Zunghar Mongols and China over Tibet, Sichuan's neighbor to the west, and consequent developments in governance and taxation of the area.

Through analysis of government documents, gazetteers, and private accounts, Yingcong Dai explores the intersections of political and social history, arguing that imperial strategy toward the southwestern frontier was pivotal in changing Sichuan's socioeconomic landscape. Government policies resulted in light taxation, immigration into Sichuan, and a military market for local products, thus altering Sichuan but ironically contributing toward the eventual demise of the Qing.

Dai's detailed, objective analysis of China's historical relationship with Tibet will be useful for readers seeking to understand debates concerning Tibet's sovereignty, Tibetan theocratic government, and the political dimension of the system of incarnate Tibetan lamas (of which the Dalai Lama is one). ... Read more

15. The History of Tibet (Curzon in Association With Iias, 9)
by Alex McKay
 Hardcover: 2216 Pages (2003-09-10)
list price: US$1,315.00 -- used & new: US$1,315.00
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Asin: 0700715088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In more than 130 articles, key documents, and treaties, this comprehensive, three-volume set presents the history of Tibet, from the pre-tenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. The collection includes articles and extracts from books, never-before published maps and illustrations, and an annotated bibliography of suggested further readings. Bringing together key writings by more than 70 scholars who have shaped the field, including such distinguished names as Hugh Richardson, Giuseppe Tucci, Luciano Petech, Samten Karmay, and Melvyn Goldstein, this set will be valuable for students and specialists of Asian studies. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Looks good . . .
For some reason it costs more than a used car.

I don't know how this price could possibly be justified. It's three volumes, and it is organized well, but it is mostly articles reprinted from journals. If you had the table of contents and access to JSTOR you could put most of this together yourself for free. ... Read more

16. My Tibet, Text by his Holiness the Fourteenth Dali Lama of Tibet
by Dalai Lama
 Hardcover: 162 Pages (1990-08-28)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$23.95
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Asin: 0520071093
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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One of the world's spiritual leaders and a renowned wilderness photographer combine their vision of Tibet in this stunningly beautiful book. Essays by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama appear with Galen Rowell's dramatic images in a moving presentation of the splendors of Tibet's revered but threatened heritage.When Chinese communist troops invaded Tibet in 1950, the author was fifteen years old and the spiritual and temporal ruler of a nation the size of western Europe. Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, appealed to the United Nations for help and then fled across the Himalaya in winter to a border town, where he anxiously awaited political aid that never came.Like the mythical kingdom of Shangri-La, Tibet had sought isolation from the rest of the world. Diplomatic relations and foreign visitors had been shunned, and few people in the West knew what cultural and natural treasures lay threatened there. In the years that followed, the Dalai Lama struggled to maintain peace in Tibet and to protect his people's ways, but in 1959 he was forced to flee to India, where he remains today. There he has established a government in exile in Dharamsala that has endeavored to preserve Tibetan culture while preparing for a peaceful return to a free Tibet.As the Chinese cautiously opened select Tibetan doors to visitors in the 1980s, a sickening realization stole over the rest of the world: Tibet had been ravaged by the Chinese occupation. All but a dozen of Tibet's six thousand monasteries had been destroyed.Much of the once-bountiful wildlife had disappeared. A sixth of the population had perished. The picture seemed so bleak that manywondered whether there was anything worth saving in this wounded land.The Dalai Lama's heartening answer and Galen Rowell's magnificent photographs leave no doubt that the mystery and enchantment of Tibet, though seriously endangered, are still alive.To Tibetans the Dalai Lama is an incarnation of the Buddha of compassion. He has spent the last thirty years tirelessly advocating nonviolence and compassion to all living things as the answer to Tibet's plight. "My religion is simple," he says, "my religion is kindness."My Tibet movingly elaborates this message: here the Dalai Lama offers his views on how world peace, happiness, and environmental responsibility are inextricably linked. He explains the meaning of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists and gives an engaging account of his early life in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In addition, he reveals many sides to his naturecompassion, profound faith, common sense, generosity, a playful sense of humorin personal reflections matched here to 108 photographs of the land he hasn't seen since 1959. Together the breathtaking photographs, which express Rowell's own commitment to the natural world, and the Dalai Lama's observations help preserve the enduring meaning of Tibet's culture, religion, and natural heritage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular photos from world-renowned photographer Galen Rowell and essays by the Dalai Lama
This is two books in one. First, it's a coffee-table type book with spectacular photos from world-renowned photographer Galen Rowell. The photos include the mountains and valleys, nomads and pilgrims, animals and plants, and chapters on Amdo, Lhasa, and Mount Kailash.

Second, it features essays by the Dalai Lama that give insight to the photos. His topics include ecology, environment, spirituality, Lhasa and Mount Kailash.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book....
The photographs in this book are simply breathtaking. The daily life of the everyday Tibetan come across vividly. The commentary by the Dalai Lama gives insight to the photos. I don't know if I would want to ever move to Tibet, but this book made me realize that it's a beautiful country.

5-0 out of 5 stars ... wow ...
I received this book today ... and I'm stunned ... don't hesitate, just order it ... put together by 2 individuals, each enlightened in his own unique way ... a king in exile, a monk, a man ... the other, an image maker, who sees with his soul, and lives for his craft ... about a land on top of the world, with history and culture as old and deep as the Himalayas are high ... the results are magical ... the photography and text flow from page to page ...

5-0 out of 5 stars STUNNING!!!
My husband bought this book to use the images of buddhist monks for a tattoo. He was going to leave it with the tattoo artist as a gift but decided to bring it home instead. I am so very glad he did!!!! I havebecome very interested in Tibetan Buddhism as well as the nature of theTibetan land and people. Of all the information I have come across, thisbook is by far the most beautiful! The photography is stunning and theDalai Lama's text is very moving. I highly recommend this to anyone who hasan interest in Tibet or Buddhism. It is simply awe inspiring! ... Read more

17. The Culture of the Book in Tibet
by Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Hardcover: 264 Pages (2009-06-11)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$32.76
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Asin: 0231147163
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The history of the book in Tibet involves more than literary trends and trade routes. Functioning as material, intellectual, and symbolic object, the book has been an instrumental tool in the construction of Tibetan power and authority, and its history opens a crucial window onto the cultural, intellectual, and economic life of an immensely influential Buddhist society.

Spanning the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Kurtis R. Schaeffer envisions the scholars and hermits, madmen and ministers, kings and queens who produced Tibet's massive canons. He describes how Tibetan scholars edited and printed works of religion, literature, art, and science and what this indicates about the interrelation of material and cultural practices. The Tibetan book is at once the embodiment of the Buddha's voice, a principal means of education, a source of tradition and authority, an economic product, a finely crafted aesthetic object, a medium of Buddhist written culture, and a symbol of the religion itself. Books stood at the center of debates on the role of libraries in religious institutions, the relative merits of oral and written teachings, and the economy of religion in Tibet.

A meticulous study that draws on more than 150 understudied Tibetan sources,The Culture of the Book in Tibet is the first volume to trace this singular history. Through a single object, Schaeffer accesses a greater understanding of the cultural and social history of the Tibetan plateau.

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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Did what it set out to do quite well
"The Culture of the Book" took a detailed look at book-making and the place of books in society in Tibet--a culture in which religious books are literally worshiped--during the 14th-18th centuries. While the books used in the examples were mainly Buddhist texts, the author only touched on Buddhist teachings as they related to the making, ownership, and value of the book. He covered several specific case studies where letters or texts were available which spoke about the process of making books (getting a patron, gathering materials, editing, translating, writing or cutting blocks and block printing the book, etc.) during the different centuries and in different areas of Tibet.

He also covered the social issues surrounding books, like how books were passed on after a person died, how donations were gathered to fund the expensive book-making project, and so on. The appendices contained the full text of a letter quoted in part in the book, a section explaining the contents of the Buddhist Canons for those of us who didn't know, and a chart showing the cost of making the Canon in his Degé example.

The wording used was formal but not technical, so it was easy to understand. I found the book interesting, though I felt at times like I would have gotten even more out of it if I was somewhat familiar with Tibetan Buddhism and the history during the time period covered. But maybe not. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in how Tibetan Buddhism influenced book making in Tibet during the 14th-18th centuries.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.

Reviewed by Debbie from Different Time, Different Place
(differenttimedifferentplace. blogspot. com) ... Read more

18. Lhasa: An Account of the Country and People of Central Tibet and of the Progress of the Mission Sent There by the English Government in the Year 1903-4. Volume 1
by Perceval Landon
Paperback: 520 Pages (2001-04-12)
list price: US$31.99 -- used & new: US$25.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 054397474X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1905 edition by Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., London. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
Absolutely fantastic account of the Younghusband expedition to penetrate the heart of Tibet. Must read by all interested in Tibet and its history. ... Read more

19. The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in Tibet (Hermeneutics: Studies in the History of Religions)
by Stephan Beyer, Kees Bolle
 Paperback: 564 Pages (1978-06-12)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$13.50
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Asin: 0520036352
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The unique importance of Stephan Beyer's work is that it presents the living ritual of Tibetan Buddhists. The reader is made a witness to cultic proceedings through which the author guides him carefully.(Reprinted) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tara -- a Common Thread of Old Tibet +++
The author of "The Cult of Tara", Stephan Beyer, has most cleverly and wisely chosen Tara as a way to unify study of magic and ritual in Tibet across the many Vajrayana, Bon and Shamanic branches of Tantric Yoga. This work is one of the most detailed presentations on circa-Tibetan Tantric practice. Stephan Beyer directly interacted with many actual living circa-Tibetans and thereby gained their trust and some good understanding of their Tantra. One can see that Stephan Beyer put a greatly inspired well-learned effort into "The Cult of Tara". It is so well-learned that one would likely have a good foundation for the cultural anthroplogy of circa-Tibetan shamanic religion -- if one were to add study of "The Cult of Tara" to "Civilized Shamans" by Geoffrey Samuel.

With all the apparent variety of shamanic religious tradition in circa-Tibet it is quite interesting that the very vast majority of circa-Tibetan Vajrayana, Bon and Shamanic folks have an inmost personal shrine to Tara -- the "Goddess" of Tibet. With the various levels of interpetation of the reality and meaning of an Entity such as Tara -- "Goddess" is only an approximate marker for Tara. A few like equivalents to Tara may be Isis of old Egypt, Sungoddess of Japan and Mary, Queen of Heaven. These three Ladies also having wide and deep meanings -- or maybe they are all of one She +++

5-0 out of 5 stars A Major Scholarly Approach to Tara
Perhaps incorrectly from a practitioners point of view -- since some of the practices outlined in this scholarly work require a teacher's guidance to practice -- this book is nontheless the most complete book of Tara practices in a scholarly format. For a devotee or practitioner, the better choice would be In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress (Paperback) by Martin Willson, because Martin approaches Tara with passion rather than a scholarly treatment and is equally as complete, but writes more from the point of view of a Tara devotee. For anyone interested in a complete and balanced scholarly view, I highly recommend The Cult of Tara (only the name particularly bothers me, since by any definition, there's no cult aspect to Tara practice or compassionate Buddhism) -- but the book is complete, learned, referenced and mostly unbiased -- and contains a wealth of information simply not found anywhere else. If I was studying Tibetan Buddhism, I would choose this book, if I was practicing I might chose Martin Wilson's book, or both. Highly recommended, despite the poor choice of title.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Myles Slater on: A Major Contribution
This is book is a richly detailed exposition of the major rituals and supporting belief systems of Tibetan Buddhist monastic communities. Beyer uses as his case study the wide-spread devotion to Tara (the Sanskrit form; in Tibetan, Dolma), the (paradoxically) female Bodhisattva who is regarded as one of the special patrons of Tibet. Basic and advanced forms of ritual and meditation are described, and there are attractive line drawings of many of the implements (as well as some not-so-clear, but interesting, black-and-white photographs).

There is an enormous amount of detail about elementary and advanced ritual activities, from those practices known to most lay-people to relatively less-known and complex meditation techniques, very much including the use of permanent objects and material and symbolic offerings. Of course, in a world-view in which the material world is itself an illusion, the differences between the tangible and the symbolic tend to fade away.

Beyer's exposition makes clear that the reported association with magic of Vajrayana Buddhism in particular, and the larger categories of Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism in general, is not a complete misrepresentation, but the natural result of a world-view in which magic is a real possibility. In Tibet, at least, the preferred solution has been to try to make sure that those who develop supernatural powers are also indoctrinated with strong ethical teachings; in other words, the specialists in religion.

This book is not, as a whole, easy reading, although the introductory chapters should present few obstacles. Beyer is enormously respectful of the religion and those who practice it, but his approach is analytical and, to some extent, critical / historical. Those interested mainly in devotional readings, including many of the texts Beyer cites or excerpts, might try Martin Willson's "In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress: Source Texts from India and Tibet on Buddhism's Great Goddess," which will also be of great interest to those who appreciate Beyer's handling of the material. ... Read more

20. Imagining Tibet: Perceptions, Projections, and Fantasies
Paperback: 512 Pages (1996-05-09)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$17.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0861711912
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the past century, the Western view of Tibet has evolved from an exotic Shangri-la filled with golden idols and the promise of immortality, to a peaceful land with an enlightened society now ravaged by outside aggression. How and why did our perception change? How accurate are our modern conceptions of Tibet? Imagining Tibet is a collection of essays that reveal these Western conceptions. Providing an historical background to the West's ever-changing relationship with Tibet, Donald Lopez, Jeffrey Hopkins, Jamyang Norbu, and other noted scholars explore a variety of topics — from Western perceptions of Tibetan approaches to violence, monastic life, and life as a nation in exile, to representations of Tibet in Western literature, art, environmentalism, and the New Age movement. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Versatile and scholarly discussion
based, more often than not, on updated lectures, of which all but one - that of R. Barnett's excellent paper - were given at 'Mythos Tibet' symposium held in Bonn, in May 1996.Participants from various fields of Tibetology, social and cultural anthropology, historical studies, Tibet support activism, etc. guarantee multi- and interdisciplinary approach to interested laymen and specialists alike. Also included are bountiful illustrations, endnotes, incomplete index, and exhaustive bibliography.

The first segment focuses on 'Missionaries & Scholars', and the historical development of certain images they filtered through/(mis)construed. Rudolf Kaschewky - The image of Tibet in the West before the 19th c.: References from Herodotus & Claudius Ptolemaios through the Portuguese Jesuit Antonio Andrade's Ladakhi mission and his Italian brethren Ippolito Desideri's stay in ÜTsang less than a century later, to the Augustinian monk Antonius Georgius's "Alphabetum Tibetanum". John Bray - 19th and early 20th c. missionary images of Tibet. Per Kvaerne - Tibet images among researchers of Tibet.

Part 2 'The Sight of the "Other"' investigates a number of aspects of the Western (and Chinese) views of Tibet "against the backdrop provided by their social, political, and ideological contexts" (p. xii). Alex C. McKay - The British construction of an image ofTibet (highlight, henceforth abbreviated 'hl'): "The failure to establish an image of Tibet fully consistent with the Tibetans' self-image was partly due to both the inherently class-based and imperial perceptions of the cadre officers of [British India] and their alliance with the ruling elite within Tibet. But it was principally the result of Whitehall's refusal to recognize Tibetan independence" (p. 85) -- that is Tibet as a pawn in the 'Great Game' being played primarily by Britain, Russia (at the turn of the 20th c.) and China at the time. Peter H. Hansen - Tibet and the cinema in the early 20th century. Thomas Heberer - Old Tibet a hell on Earth? The myth of Tibet and Tibetans in Chinese art and propaganda (hl): the Hans' projections/misrepresentations labelled 'exotic-erotic, patriarchal-pedagogical, historical (or rather historicizing)-primitive'. Sadly missing from the list - and for that matter, not only from this very article but from the entire tome - is the priest-patron/guru-disciple/spirito-political (mchod-yon) angle that had been a determining factor in the relationship between the heads/luminaries of various Tibetan sects/schools/lineages and the imperial court; especially under the Mongol (Yuan) and Manchu (Qing) rule of China, and to a much lesser extent under the Ming dynasty as well. For more on this, consult the 1990s titles by Seyfort Ruegg.

Poul Pedersen - Tibet, Theosophy and the psychologization of Buddhism. Frank J. Korom - The role of Tibet in the New Age movement. Donald S. Lopez Jr. - The image of Tibet of the great mystifiers (hl): The renowned Buddhologist/Tibetologist singles out surgical fitter Cyril Hoskin turned New Age impostor under the widely known pen name Lobzang Rampa for analysis. He honestly admits that "it is not simply that the scholar needs the dilettante in order to define his identity. [LR] is rather like the glud, the ransom...offered to the demons in a Tibetan exorcism ceremony in exchange for the spirit of the possessed...So Rampa is given to the public, who does not care what the scholar says, and he derives his livelihood in the bargain. In return, the scholar, by renouncing the public, receives symbolic capital by disavowing that upon which he is ultimately dependent..." (p. 199). Peter Bishop - Not only a Shangri-la. Images of Tibet in Western literature. Heather Stoddard - The development in perception of Tibetan art. From golden idols to ultimate reality.

Part 3, dubbed 'Standpoints', contains: P. Jeffrey Hopkins - Tibetan monastic colleges. Rationality versus the demands of allegiance. Robert Barnett - '"Violated specialness". Western political representations of Tibet' (hl) deals with the exiled Tibetan government's changing tactics in light of their Western reception (political and civilian). "[T]hey [the Western one-worlder globalists] offered a language that could be used ambiguously so that the domestic audience would see it as criticizing China while Chinese officials might be persuaded that the criticisms were sufficiently mild so as not to be threatening to fundamental concerns [i.e., profit to a select few and oppression for the masses; one market, one consumer...] They avoided terms referring to total destruction, nationhood, territory, or status (p. 291). [A] shared linguistic framework within which Chinese and non-Chinese political forces can conceal their differences and, by exploiting its ambiguities, find themselves within what is in effect an alliance in diminishing or neutralizing the claims of Tibetan nationalists" (p. 297). Calculated charade and hypocricy, in other words! This rhymes with the remark Hugh E. Richardson (1905-2000; British Trade Agent at Gyantse and Officer-in-Charge at Lhasa from 1936 to 1940, 1946-7; and then in the capacity of representative for the independent government of India from 1947-50) had made: "[t]he British Government...sold the Tibetans down the river...I was profoundly ashamed of the government" (p. 86). For this latter authority's collected writings on Tibetan history and culture, try to obtain "High Peaks, Pure Earth", ed. Michael Aris (1946-99), 1998 London.

Elliot Sperling's '"Orientalism" and aspects of violence in the Tibetan tradition' (hl) demystifies the non-violent notion of the Tibetan politico-religious arena by emphasizing the responsibility of the 5th Dalai lama Ngag-dbang bLo-bzang rgya-mtsho in recruiting the military aid commanded by the Qoshot/Oirat Mongol Gushri khan to overthrow the alliance that had been forged between the gTsang-pa rulers (sde-srid) and the Karma-pa (especially the Red Hat (zhwa-dmar) branch) sect then in power, thereby establishing dGe-lugs-pa theocracy/hierocracy in 1642. The author backs up his assertion by quoting relevant passages from the Great Fifth's autobiography (rang-thar) under the ultra short title "Dukuula". The same source was used by Samten G. Karmay, who arrived at a somewhat different conclusion in laying the blame for the Mongols' armed intervention on the councillor-secretary (zhal-ngo) bSod-nams chos-'phel's (1595-1657) treasonous falsification of his master's order. (cf. 'The fifth Dalai lama and his reunification of Tibet', in: "The Arrow and the Spindle" (vol. I) pp. 509-10, 1998 Kathmandu;this paper originally appeared in French, in the compendium "Lhasa, Terre du Divin", ed. Francoise Pommaret,1997 Geneva) Helena Norberg-Hodge - Tibetan culture as a model of ecological sustainability: based on field research in Ladakh, we assume. Graham E. Clarke - Tradition, modernity, and enviromental change in Tibet. Toni Huber - Shangri-la in exile. Representations of Tibetan identity and transnational culture. Jamyang Norbu - Behind the lost horizon. Demystifying Tibet. Dagyab Kyabgön rinpoche - Buddhism in the West and the image of Tibet.
In the concluding essay 'Between Shangri-la and feudal oppression. Attempting a synthesis' (hl), convenor-editors Thierry Dodin and Heinz Rather pull together the multifarious threads of former themes.

Bod rang-btsan-zhing rgyal-lo/May Tibet be victorious and self-governing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting Real About Tibet
This is a great book if you want to learn more about the reality of Tibet, rather than the numerous romantic myths that have been spawned about it in the West. Having lived from my teens to mid-Twenties in a Canadian community where Tibetans were resettled, I can tell you first hand that they are no more good or bad in general than any other people group. Reading a book like this will save you a lot of wasted time in building up fantasies and having them disappointed. It will help you deal with the more obvious problems, like Lobsang Rampa's fictions, as well as gain a more balanced view of the often over-stated claims about Tibetan Buddhism, environmentalism, peacefulness, and all the other projected idealisms that go into changing the actual particulars of real Tibetan society and history into the Shangri-La of Western desire. ... Read more

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