Tibet: a political history
Tibet has long captured the imagination of the world for its unique religious traditions and its awesome remoteness on the “Roof of the World”, but its actual history and the role it has played in the Asian political arena are less well known. In this book, the first of its kind in English by an eminent Tibetan scholar, we are given the full account of the Tibetan nation, from its earliest civilizations up to the tragedy of the current Chinese occupation.
Drawing on original Tibetan documents, government archives and ancient chronicles, as well as recent Western academic research, the author relates the fascinating chapters of Tibet’s history with the astute understanding of an inside observer. Beginning with Tibet’s Yalung dynasty and its military domination of medieval Asia, the narrative continues through the official adoption of Indian Buddhism, Tibet’s influence in the Mongol court of Kublai Khan, the rise to political power of the Dali Lama, and Tibet’s struggles with foreign expansionism. In the final chapters the author, himself an official in the Tibetan government at that time, gives a first-hand account of the Chinese invasion in 1950, the Tibetan resistance and eventual uprising, and the mass exodus of refugees across the Himalayas into India and abroad. This is an engrossing and insightful book, presenting a vivid a picture of political personalities and the character of the Tibetan people, and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Asian affairs.
Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa