Dragon in the Land of Snows: a History of Modern Tibet since 1947 (Compass)

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9780140196153: Dragon in the Land of Snows: a History of Modern Tibet since 1947 (Compass)

Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakya's groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by broader international developments. Shakya gives a balanced, blow-by-blow account of Tibet's ongoing struggle to maintain its independence and safeguard its cultural identity while being sandwiched between the heavyweights of Asian geopolitics: Britain, India, China, and the United States. With thorough documentation, Shakya details the Chinese depredations of Tibet, and reveals the failures of the Tibetan leadership's divided strategies. Rising above the simplistic dualism so often found in accounts of Tibet's contested recent history, The Dragon in the Land of Snows lucidly depicts the tragedy that has befallen Tibet and identifies the conflicting forces that continue to shape the aspirations of the Tibetan people today.

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Review:

You can't help feeling that ever since luvvies like Richard Gere got involved with the Free Tibet campaign that the debate has become hopelessly simplistic. The Tibetans can do no wrong and the Chinese can do no right. As a very rough guide to the current situation this sort of summary will do, but it gives no hint of the nuances of a complicated and tortuous history. And so most people are left with little or no sense of how the present-day situation in Tibet arose.

1999 marks the 40th anniversary of the National Uprising when the Tibetan people rebelled against the Chinese forces that had occupied their country since 1950. Thousands of Tibetans were killed in the failed revolt and the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, fled to India from Lhasa with 80,000 supporters. So an informed, detailed and balanced account from a Tibetan historian is a breath of fresh air. Shakya cuts through the myths that both sides have created to feed their political ends. Tibetan culture wasn't the happy Shangri-La prior to the Chinese invasion that many Tibetans claim. It was a land dominated by a feudal elite who kept many people in serfdom; however there was also much of value in the Tibetan culture that the Chinese have done so much to destroy.

Tibet and China go back a long way: Tibetans believe their land to be an independent state; the Chinese believe Tibet has always been part of China. Tibet has been under Chinese rule at various points over the last 1,000 years, and it was only with the Chinese revolution of 1911 that Tibet finally freed itself from Chinese control. The Chinese have steadily strengthened their hold on Tibet since they invaded in 1950 through a series of repressive measures against Tibetan nationals which the International Committee of Jurists concluded constituted a prima facie case of genocide. They have also encouraged many Chinese to move to Tibet: Tibetans call this a process of "sinification" via the back-door: the Chinese say that the Tibetans are not culturally in tune with modern economic policies.

And so it goes on. The two countries cannot even agree on what constitutes Tibet. The Tibetan government in Lhasa had ceded Kham and Amdo prior to 1950 and ruled over what is now known as the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The Tibetan government in exile wants Kham and Amdo included in all discussions on Tibet's future. China does not. Shakya is no fence-sitter. Like most right minded people he believes the Tibetans to have the better claim, but his strength is that he allows the arguments to speak for themselves rather than get carried away by sloganism and partiality. If there were more people like Shakya, there might--just might--be an end to the deadlock in prospect. --John Crace

Review:

An ocean of new material is presented from previously unpublished sources, making this the most significant entrant into the field of recent Tibetan history since Melvyn Goldstein's Snow Lion and the Dragon. Tricycle An important book that will encourage further research and discussion about Tibet. Choice He has employed thorough research, a balanced view and a dispassionate tone in writing a tremendously informative, definitive history of his native land. -- Steven Mufson Washington Post Dragon in the Land of Snows will undoubtedly take its place as the indispensable account of modern Tibetan history... Shakya informs it with a cool and rigorous historical mind, with which he cuts through the thickets of polemic on both sides. Literary Review A sober, factual, excellently researched, and surprisingly impartial account of the end of old Tibet. The Spectator At last, the history of Tibet we have been waiting for. It will irritate both Chinese and Tibetan chauvinists as it explodes their myths, misunderstandings, and propaganda. Tsering Shakya, a Western-trained Tibetan, has sensitively used Western, Chinese, and Tibetan sources to get nearer than anyone to the truth of Tibet's last fifty tragic years. -- Jonathan Mirsky A prodigious work of scholarship... The clearest picture yet of this period. This book will become a standard text. Sunday Telegraph Superbly well-research and written. -- Orville Schell Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 213 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakya s groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by broader international developments. Shakya gives a balanced, blow-by-blow account of Tibet s ongoing struggle to maintain its independence and safeguard its cultural identity while being sandwiched between the heavyweights of Asian geopolitics: Britain, India, China, and the United States. With thorough documentation, Shakya details the Chinese depredations of Tibet, and reveals the failures of the Tibetan leadership s divided strategies. Rising above the simplistic dualism so often found in accounts of Tibet s contested recent history, The Dragon in the Land of Snows lucidly depicts the tragedy that has befallen Tibet and identifies the conflicting forces that continue to shape the aspirations of the Tibetan people today. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140196153

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 213 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakya s groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by broader international developments. Shakya gives a balanced, blow-by-blow account of Tibet s ongoing struggle to maintain its independence and safeguard its cultural identity while being sandwiched between the heavyweights of Asian geopolitics: Britain, India, China, and the United States. With thorough documentation, Shakya details the Chinese depredations of Tibet, and reveals the failures of the Tibetan leadership s divided strategies. Rising above the simplistic dualism so often found in accounts of Tibet s contested recent history, The Dragon in the Land of Snows lucidly depicts the tragedy that has befallen Tibet and identifies the conflicting forces that continue to shape the aspirations of the Tibetan people today. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140196153

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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 608 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.5in. x 1.4in.Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakyas groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by broader international developments. Shakya gives a balanced, blow-by-blow account of Tibets ongoing struggle to maintain its independence and safeguard its cultural identity while being sandwiched between the heavyweights of Asian geopolitics: Britain, India, China, and the United States. With thorough documentation, Shakya details the Chinese depredations of Tibet, and reveals the failures of the Tibetan leaderships divided strategies. Rising above the simplistic dualism so often found in accounts of Tibets contested recent history, The Dragon in the Land of Snows lucidly depicts the tragedy that has befallen Tibet and identifies the conflicting forces that continue to shape the aspirations of the Tibetan people today. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140196153

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