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The Tibetans [Hardcover]

Matthew T. Kapstein
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 6, 2006 0631225749 978-0631225744 1
This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to Tibet, its culture and history.
  • A clear and comprehensive overview of Tibet, its culture and history.
  • Responds to current interest in Tibet due to continuing publicity about Chinese rule and growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Explains recent events within the context of Tibetan history.
  • Situates Tibet in relation to other Asian civilizations through the ages.
  • Draws on the most recent scholarly and archaeological research.
  • Introduces Tibetan culture – particularly social institutions, religious and political traditions, the arts and medical lore.
  • An epilogue considers the fragile position of Tibetan civilization in the modern world.

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The Tibetans + A Concise Introduction To Tibetan Buddhism
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Editorial Reviews


"The Tibetans improves and expands upon its predecessors, and we have Matthew Kapstein to thank for his efforts." (Moran Review, October 2010)

"Kapstein's work provides a highly accessible and comprehensive account of scholarship on the subject, ensuring that his book will feature prominently on reading lists for students at all levels, especially undergraduates." (Religious Studies Review, September 2010)"The Tibetans offers the best single overview of Tibetan cultural history currently available, and it is highly recommended reading for students and professional scholars alike. It is surely destined to be the standard work of its type well into the foreseeable future." (The Journal of Asian Studies, December 2009)

"Kapstein has produced a finely textured work that can correct prevailing misconceptions and introduce the reader to the amazing complexity of what he calls the "Tibetan civilizational sphere." The Tibetans helps us better understand the historical and cultural forces that have shaped Tibet's destiny." (Traditional Yoga Studies)

"It has been a long time since Tibet scholars have had a text so comprehensive, well informed, beautifully written and majestically sensitive. This book is a ‘must read’ for junior scholars of Tibet and for lay persons with a general interest in the region; even those already expert in the field will find here much that is both entertaining and edifying." (The China Journal)

"Recommended." (CHOICE)

"An excellent book and it adds greatly to our knowledge of this fascinating people … I recommend this book strongly." (Educational Review)

"An authoritative but accessible work of erudition, well-designed for the undergraduate market." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

"It is a book that all scholars of Tibet and Central Asia, regardless of disciplinary focus, should read and control." (Asian Ethnology)

"This accessible book makes the latest research on Tibetan history and culture widely available and can be recommended as a standard introduction to the field." (Atlas Serials)


"In the past, for largely geographical reasons, Tibet was isolated from the rest of the world, which meant that our country, people and culture were not only shrouded in mystery, but often gravely misunderstood. More recently, as interest has grown, scholarship concerning Tibet has improved beyond expectation, although it has often singled out narrow topics for consideration. In producing this substantial book, which takes a broad view of Tibetans and their civilization, within a long historical perspective, Matthew Kapstein has brought to his work the authority and clarity he has acquired through many years of friendship with and observation of the people of the Land of Snow."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama

"Professor M. T. Kapstein's elegantly written The Tibetans describes the Tibetan area, its inhabitants and the richness of its religious and secular culture in a truly exquisite and highly intelligent manner. It is an impressive achievement. The Tibetans is in every respect a masterful survey in which the political and cultural history of the enormous area inhabited by the Tibetan people get their fair share. Every page of this volume is informed by the author's profound knowledge and understanding of the many facets of this unique culture. In my opinion, The Tibetans will surely displace the earlier, general volumes on Tibet by R.A. Stein and H.E. Richardson and D.L. Snellgrove, and thus quickly become a modern classic."
Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Harvard University

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631225749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631225744
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By hsw27
This is a very well written book for those who have general interest on Tibet and Tibetans, given the fact there is barely any other books currently available written by highly qualified experts on Tibetan history and Tibetan people for general audience, this book does go a long way. The previous reviewer's comment is just utterly strange and unfair.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful history of Tibet before the invasion. May 31, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book and the story it presents. It is sad what happened in Tibet and it is good there is such a book as this to keep some of the history alive. While the government is in exile in Dharamsala it is very important for others to help speak out for them about Tibet. This book does a great job with that regard. If you are a student of world history, Buddhist, or curious about the country of Tibet you owe it to yourself to purchase this book.

Highly recommended

Thank you for reading my little review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tibetans November 5, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Brilliant book! It contains information not easily found in encyclopaedias or guidebooks. I highly recommend it to anyone who is deeply interested in the Tibetan civilisation!
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