- Series: Compass
- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140196153
- ISBN-13: 978-0140196153
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947 (Compass) Paperback – October 1, 2000
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Long isolated by virtue of its remoteness and its government's suspicion of outsiders, Tibet was drawn a century ago into an uneasy alliance with Great Britain. In the bargain, the British gained a buffer state between its Indian colonies and China, while the Tibetans gained some measure of protection against Chinese encroachment. With the end in 1947 of British rule in India, Tibet was left defenseless, and China lost no time in claiming Tibet as its own, invading the mountainous kingdom in 1949. China has ruled Tibet as a colony ever since, settling ever larger numbers of ethnic Chinese there in order to establish a majority over the original occupants.
Thanks to the decades-long efforts of the exiled Dalai Lama, the Tibetan demand for sovereignty is well known throughout the world today. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the complex political relationships that obtain between China and Tibet, and between both countries and the rest of the world, now have a thoroughly documented, accessible guide in Tsering Shakya's Dragon in the Land of Snows. Though far from nonpartisan--Shakya, too, pleads the cause of Tibetan independence--the book covers much unfamiliar ground while attempting to understand China's persistent claims of rule. China is unlikely to give up Tibet willingly, he concludes, for to do so would entail loss of face for the nationalists who now rule in Beijing.
No other book offers as comprehensive a picture of modern Tibetan history, and Shakya's work contributes much to the debate over that sad nation's future. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A valuable scholarly history of modern Tibet that passes an unflattering judgment on the role of the West, this study earned critical praise in England, where it was first published. Shakya, a research fellow at London University, fled his native Tibet with his family amid the horrors of China's Cultural Revolution in 1967. Remarkably, his tone is objective as he seeks to understand and present the Chinese viewpointAthat Tibet has always been part of the Chinese empire and that Maoism has ushered a backward feudalistic society into the 20th centuryAeven as he forcefully refutes it. Using Tibetan-language and Chinese sources, oral records of Tibetan leaders and British, U.S. and Indian government documents, Shakya compellingly explains what has happened to Tibet since the Chinese military invasion of 1950. Almost the entire Tibetan army, plus many activists, monks and students, were arrested and dispatched to labor camps in Tibet and in China. Tibet's monasteries and temples were destroyed or pillaged by China's Red Guards. All expressions of dissent and of loyalty to the exiled Dalai Lama have been punished. As part of its policy of total assimilation aimed at the annihilation of Tibetan culture, Beijing has encouraged tens of thousands of Chinese to settle in Tibet. Shakya's quietly devastating chronicle faults the U.S. and Britain for making the question of human rights subservient to the West's desire for better relations with China. Thorough and fair, Shakya sheds light on a country whose complex reality is often ignored even by the most well-intentioned advocates of the Tibetan cause in the West. Photos. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The fact of the matter is, the situation in Tibet is HIGHLY controversial and HIGHLY complex. Simply considering history to be simply 'Bad China, Good Tibet' is a disservice to Tibetans because it fails to give justice to the vicissitudes of their situation. Furthermore, it preempts further inquiry into the full array of historical issues at work and dumbs down the entire dramatic conflict incredibly.
This is why I found this book a refreshing look at Tibet's conflict with China. The author tries very hard to remain objective. Instead of using his book to demonize China and list atrocities, he tries to explain Beijing's acts from within the framework of Chinese politics and ideology. This is not to say that he does not give sufficient attention to atrocities, however. The author is also critical of myopic policies of the Tibetan government in handling the 1950 invasion. He also examines India's difficult tightrope walk of trying to have good relations with Beijing while providing humanitarian assistance to the Tibetans. In short, this book tries to be a balanced view of the Chinese occupation of Tibet- This in itself is all-too seldom seen in the west, where we see Brad Pitt (in 7 Years in Tibet) showing us how a nice Nazi mountain-climber introduces the joy of cinema to a rosy-cheeked, perpetually 8-year old Dalai Lama.