Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama

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9780060987015: Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama

In this astonishingly frank autobiography, the Dalai Lama reveals the remarkable inner strength that allowed him to master both the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism and the brutal realities of Chinese Communism.

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The Dalai Lama's autobiography should leave no one in doubt of his humility and genuine compassion. Written without the slightest hint of pretence, the exiled leader of Tibet recounts his life, from the time he was whisked away from his home in 1939 at the age of four, to his escape from Tibet in 1959, to the winning of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The backdrop of the story is the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet. We learn in calm detail of imprisonment, torture, rape, famine, ecological disaster and genocide that in under four decades of Chinese rule have left a million-and-a-quarter Tibetans dead and the Tibetan natural and religious landscapes decimated. Yet the Dalai Lama's story is strangely one of hope. This man who prays for four hours a day harbours no ill will toward the Chinese and sees the potential for good everywhere he casts his gaze. Someday, he hopes, all of Tibet will be a zone of peace and the world's largest nature preserve. Such optimism is not naive, but a result of his daily studies in Buddhist philosophy and his doctrine of Universal Responsibility. Inspiring in every way, Freedom in Exile is both a historical document and a fable of deepest trust in humanity. --Brian Bruya

Review:

"A simple and powerful autobiography. The Dalai Lama's story of exile must serve, of course, as a vital historical witness, not only to inhumanity but to compassion as well, not only to betrayal and treachery but to generosity and faithfulness." -- "Los Angeles Times Book Review""Compelling...fascinating....eye-opening." -- "Washington Post Book World""The prose is clear and engaging, full of subtle implication and humor. His observations of Western culture are poignant."-- "San Francisco Chronicle""Forthright...often amusing...he has retained much of the freshness of the child's view of what was happening to him, and his account is moving." -- "New York Times Book Review""An earnest, inspiring, and wholly captivating classic tale of spiritual adventure. With candor, great charm, and good humor, the winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize tells his life story." --" Kirkus Reviews""His autobiography was waited for, and is worth waiting for."-- "Chicago Sun-Times""Throughout his story, told with great humility, the Dalai Lama reveals his obligation both to address the time-honored spiritual needs of his people and to help them deal with the practical considerations of their disrupted lives. Anyone wanting to understand Tibet today will do well to read this priest-king's tale of coping with the ancient and modern worlds that have shaped him." -- "Chicago Tribune"

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