The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947 (Compass)

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9780140196153: The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947 (Compass)
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Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakya's groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by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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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

Book Description:

This definitive history of modern Tibet―based entirely on unpublished primary sources and written by a Western-educated Tibetan author―shatters the popular perception of Tibet as an isolated Shangri-la unaffected by broader international developments and rises above the simplistic dualism so often encountered in accounts of Tibet's contested recent history.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780231118149: The Dragon in the Land of Snows

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ISBN 10:  0231118147 ISBN 13:  9780231118149
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 1999
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9780712665339: Dragon in the Land of Snows

Columb..., 1999
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