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

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By Tsering Shakya

NEW YORK: COLUMBIA UNJVERSTY PRESS, 1999

XXIX. 448 PAGES, 12 PHOTOS, 7 MAPS. ANNOTATED, APPENDICES, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX

Tsering Shakya’s book is a breath of fresh air. which deliberately avoids the polemics that so frequently pervade scholarship on Sino-Tibetan relations. In fact, he states that his goal is to offer some correction to both Chinese and Tibetan historical renditions that have contributed to a “denial of history,”‘ a process which necessarily entails a negation of responsibility. He succeeds in this task by presenting a picture of Tibetans that is not timeless nor characterized by a uniformity of interests; by documenting periods of Tibetan cooperation with and co-optation by the Chinese; by explaining the multifaceted nature of contemporary Tibetan revolts and demonstrations: by illustrating ways in which the constantly shifting international scene has imposed obstacles to and opened up opportunities for Tibetans to voice their grievance ; and by revealing Communist Chinese assumptions and strategies that have served to undermine their nation-building project.