A Portrait of Lost Tibet

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9780030504518: A Portrait of Lost Tibet

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they moved to reestablish their "traditional" borders and in 1959 annexed Tibet. Most monasteries were closed, nomads were moved onto communes, the nobility were stripped of privileges, forests were cut, roads were paved, military airfields were constructed, and Tibet's communication with the outside world was cut off. A Portrait of Lost Tibet provides rare documentary photographs of traditional Tibetan life as it had been lived for countless generations before the radical disruption effected by the Chinese takeover. Rosemary Jones Tung's text describes the culture Ilya Tolstoy and Brooke Dolan found during their ten-month trek across Tibet in 1942. Tung has selected 131 photographs from the two thousand taken during their expedition.

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About the Author:

Rosemary Jones Tung is Professor Emerita of Asian Art History, CUNY Staten Island, and former Curator of the Tibetan Museum there. Ilya Tolstoy led expeditions to central Asia; Brooke Dolan, educated at Princeton and Harvard, spoke several Tibetan dialects. In 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt sent them to Tibet on a diplomatic mission which yielded the photographs selected for this book.

Review:

"A remarkable, precious record of a now vanished civilization." -- Publishers Weekly

"An extraordinary readable and perceptive commentary describing events of the [Tolstoy and Dolan] expedition and Tibetan social and religious customs." -- Choice

"Tibet, her people and culture, are admirably depicted in this volume that shows an era and a nation now gone." -- Marsha C.S. Kelly, Science Books and Film

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