Over the course of three years, journalist Thomas Laird spent more than sixty hours with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in candid, one-on-one interviews that covered history, science, reincarnation, and Buddhism. Laird brings these meetings to life in rich, vibrant, and monumental work that outlines the essence of thousands of years of civilization, myth, and spirituality. Tibet’s story is rich with tradition and filled with promise. It begins with the Bodhisattva Chenrizi ( The Holy One”) whose spirit many Tibetans believe resides within the Dalai Lama. We learn the origins of Buddhism, and about the era of Great Tibetan Emperors, whose reign stretched from southwestern China to Northern India. His Holiness introduces us to Tibet’s greatest yogis and meditation masters, and explains how the institution of the Dalai Lama was founded. Laird explores, with His Holiness, Tibet’s relations with the Mongols, the Golden Age under the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Tibet’s years under Manchu overlords, modern independence in the early twentieth century, and the Dalai Lama’s personal meetings with Mao just before His Holiness fled into exile in 1959. The Story of Tibet is a tenderly crafted study that is equal parts love letter, traditional history, and oral history” (Publishers Weekly).
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Thomas Laird has been based in Kathmandu, Nepal for thirty years and now divides his time between there and New Orleans. He has worked as a journalist for Time, Asiaweek and Newsweek. His first non-fiction book was Into Tibet: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa.Review:
"A significant contribution to the outpouring of recent writings on Tibet."
"Laird uncovers a history of Tibet not found in other books about the country."
"Thomas Laird captures the beauty, the magnificence, the humor of this world spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama."
"This is the Dalai Lama's personal look at his country's past as well as a summary of his life's work as the leader of the Tibetan people."
"You get a strong sense of the Dalai Lama's personality, culture, and beliefs. There are Insights, too, into how the Dalai Lama's Buddhist training has Influenced his political-historical view."
"A thoughtful dialogue . . . about Tibet's past not simply as a sequence of events, but as seen through the perspectives of myth, spirituality, morality, human frailty, and fate . . . Will deepen general readers' knowledge of Tibet, its religion, and its engaging leader."
"A tenderly crafted study that is equal parts love letter, traditional history, and oral history . . . Throughout, Laird's colorful and lively writing brings to life thousands of years of Tibetan history, inviting the reader on his journey to a strange and wonderful land."
"This book presents a much wider range of material than we are accustomed to hearing discussed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Journalist Thomas Laird Includes valuable background information throughout, lending valuable support to their conversations; but it is the Dalai Lama's mastery of a wealth of historical information that makes this captivating reading."
"The Fourteenth Dalai Lama's fresh account of Tibetan myth and history, as shared at Dharamsala over a three-year period with Thomas Laird, is wonderful instruction and a great true pleasure, not less to because of the small informal moments that clarify these encounters with that delightful Buddha being who manifests in the beleaguered public figure of His Holiness."
"Thomas Laird's lively conversations with His Holiness the Dalal Lama and the history and mythology of Tibet couldn't come at a better moment, as China stubbornly persists in negating the distinctive Tibetan identity. The honesty, subtlety, and complexlty of His Holiness's thoughts of these crucial matters comes through in these fascinating dialogues. Everyone who cares about Tibet, or about a stable peace in Asia, should read this amazing account."
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