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In Exile from the Land of Snows: The Definitive Account of the Dalai Lama and Tibet Since the Chinese Conquest Paperback – December 10, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An historic document." -- -- Kirkus Reviews

"Awesome, passionately informed, totally engrossing." -- -- E. L. Doctorow

"For the curious reader he offers exotica better than that of any Shangri-La." -- -- New York Times Book Review

"Marvelous, heartrending, and heartwarming." -- -- William Shawcross

"The detailed life stories Avedon recounts are nothing short of stunning." -- -- Denver Post

"What Alexander Solzhenitsyn did for the Soviet Union, John F. Avedon does for Tibet." -- -- The Los Angeles Times

"An historic document." -- -- Kirkus Reviews

"Awesome, passionately informed, totally engrossing." -- -- E. L. Doctorow

"For the curious reader he offers exotica better than that of any Shangri-La." -- -- New York Times Book Review

"Marvelous, heartrending, and heartwarming." -- -- William Shawcross

"The detailed life stories Avedon recounts are nothing short of stunning." -- -- Denver Post

"What Alexander Solzhenitsyn did for the Soviet Union, John F. Avedon does for Tibet." -- -- The Los Angeles Times

About the Author

John F. Avedon was born in New York and educated at Sarah Lawrence College. He has written for the overseas edition of Newsweek, and his articles have appeared in GEO, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and Macleans. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (December 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060977418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060977412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have had any Shangri-La type illusions about Tibet, this book will soon blow them away. Not that that is a bad thing, but just be warned. This book will open your eyes, make you laugh, weep, clench your fists and probably curse before you're done, but it will not leave you unchanged, either in your opinion of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and especially of China.
This is a very balanced account from the Tibetan perspective of the period roughly from the end of WWII until 1990. In addition to an unvarnished account of Tibetan bravery, desire to retain their homeland at all costs and credulity, and unlimited Chinese brutality and treachery, there is a great deal of social insight woven in. This is not a "feel-good" story to garner sympathy for the Tibetans, this is a tell-it-like-is book whose message is so daunting that I'm not sure most of the world, much less the Tibetans themselves are ready to face much of it.
This is not a book so much about religion, although you cannot write about Tibet without writing about Buddhism, as about world politics thundering down on a small, isolated nation. It is about the bravery and resourcefulness of the Tibetan people and the greatness of their leader. And it is about the utter shameless cupidity and determination of the Chinese to lay hold of this strategic bit of real estate and anihilate its native population. This book should serve as a powerful reminder of what the PRC is capable of and just how much their talk is worth.
After reading this, I believe (and HHDL must realize) that the chances for any kind of an autonomous, much less independent, Tibetan region are slim to none, but that the facade needs to be kept up for political and morale reasons.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent source for anyone interested in Tibet politically. It provides a picture of Tibet before, during, and after the Chinese invasion. I find it very surprising, (and disturbing)that this book is out of print, given the renewed interest in Tibet and efforts to liberate the country from Chinese occupation. What was done (and is continuing to be done) to the people of Tibet should be part of our daily conversations right now, as we are about to grant China permananet normal trade relations.
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Format: Paperback
A must read to truly understand the complex story of Tibet, although it may disuade you from ever going there. This is the story of the destruction of Tibet, told through a narrative of political history and a few well-chosen personal stories. Internal squabbling contributed to the Tibetan's own downfall, but in the end this small underdeveloped nation could not have withstood the Chinese without significant support from the rest of the world, and that support was shamefully lacking in the 50's. The destruction that followed was unbelievable. I've always thought it would be fascinating to go there, but I now realize that the treasures of Tibet are probably now in China or in the hands of private collectors after the Chinese sold them off, and what's left is part of a carefully constructed show for tourists. I agree with the reviewer who says that Tibetan independence seems a long shot at this point, but the world should keep the pressure on until the Tibetans gain some measure of cultural and religious freedom. My only criticism of this book is that it ends in the mid-80's, and the newer edition that came out in the late 90's contains a rather feeble attempt to update the story through a chronology. Interesting though is the interview with the Dalai Lama.
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Format: Paperback
If your serious about learning about Tibet and the Chinese take- over read this book.Some of the more explicit chapters made me really angry and kept me questioning "How can humans treat each other this way"?
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This book, is among the very best accounts of the terrible tragedy that has been Tibet for nearly 50 years. Fascinating reading for anyone interested in Tibet. I have read this book twice and look forward to reading it again. Cynics may try to put a pleasant face China's occupation of Tibet, but this book tells it straight. Read it, you won't be sorry.
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By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well written and moving account of one of the most tragic stories in modern history, the brutal suppression of the religion and culture of Tibet. While it's true that the Cultural Revolution brought suffering throughout all of China, Tibet bore the brunt of the destruction due to the devotion of the Tibetan people to their Buddhist religion and traditions. Of the more than 5,000 Buddhist monasteries in Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion and occupation in 1950, fewer than 20 remain intact today. Most were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, and while the Chinese government has recently allowed a few to be reconstructed for the sake of tourist revenues, the heavy-handed suppression of the Buddhist religion continues to this day --- punctuated by periodic "re-education" campaigns in the few remaining monasteries. The Communist party line insists that the Tibetans needed Chinese "help" to emerge into the modern world, but the only real beneficiaries of whatever economic "progress" they've brought to Tibet have been the millions of ethnic Han Chinese who've been induced to migrate to Tibet during the occupation. For anyone interested in the plight of Tibet, "Exile From the Land of the Snows" is essential reading.
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