Tibet in the last sixty years has been so much mystified and politicized that the world at large is confused about what really happened to the "Rooftop of the World" when Mao Tse-tung invaded its borders in 1950. There are dramatically conflicting accounts from Beijing and Dharamsala (home of the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile). Adding to the confusion is the romanticized spin that Western writers and filmmakers have adopted in an effort to appease the popular myth of Shangri-La.
Buddha's Warriors is no fairy tale. Set in a narrative framework but relying heavily on the oral transcripts of the Tibetan men who actually fought the Chinese, Buddha's Warriors tells, for the first time, the inside story of these historic developments, while drawing a vivid picture of Tibetan life before, during, and after Mao's takeover. The firsthand accounts, gathered by the author over a period of seven years, bring faces and deeply personal emotions to the forefront of this ongoing tragedy. It is a saga of brave soldiers and cowardly traitors. It's about hope against desolation, courage against repression, atheism against Buddhism. Above all, it's about what happens to an ancient civilization when it is thrust overnight into the modern horrors of twentieth-century warfare.
The Voice That Remembers is an engrossing firsthand account of Ama Adhe's mission and a record of a crucial time in modern Tibetan history. It will forever change how you think about Tibet, about China, and about our shared capacity for survival.
Escape from the Land of Snows: The Young Dalai Lama's Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero
Mao Zedung, China’s ruthless Communist dictator, had pinned his hopes for total Tibetan submission on controlling the impressionable Dalai Lama. So beloved was the young ruler—so identified with his country’s essence—that for him to escape might mean perpetual resistance from a population unwilling to tolerate an increasingly brutal occupation. The Dalai Lama’s minders sent word to the Tibetan rebels and CIA-trained guerrillas who waited on the route: His Holiness must escape—at all costs.
In many ways, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was unprepared for the epic journey awaiting him. Twenty-two years earlier, government search parties, guided by prophecies and omens, had arrived at the boy’s humble peasant home and subjected the two-year-old to a series of tests. After being declared the reincarnation of Tibet’s previous ruler, the boy was brought to Lhasa to learn the secrets of Buddhism and the ways of ultimate power. Forced in the ensuing two decades to cope with aching loneliness and often stifling ritual—and compelled to suppress his mischievous personality—Gyatso eventually proved himself a capable leader. But no previous Dalai Lama had ever taken on a million Communist Chinese soldiers bent on stamping out Tibetan freedom.
To keep his country’s dream of independence alive by means of a government in exile, the young ruler would not only have to brave battalions of enemy soldiers and the whiteout conditions waiting on the slopes of the Himalayas’ highest peaks, he’d have to overcome a different type of blindness: the naïveté intrinsic to his sheltered palace life and his position as leader of a people who considered violence deeply taboo.
His mind made up, the young Dalai Lama set off on his audacious journey to India while behind him a Chinese army rolled over Lhasa, its advance hunter patrols in fierce pursuit of the man they most coveted. The 14th’s escape was an act of daring and defiance that represented Tibet’s last hope, and so the world watched, transfixed, as the gentle monk’s journey unfolded.
Emotionally powerful and irresistibly page-turning, Escape from the Land of Snows is simultaneously a portrait of the inhabitants of a spiritual nation forced to take up arms in defense of their ideals, and the saga of an initially childlike ruler who at first wore his monk’s robes uncomfortably but was ultimately transformed by his escape into the towering figure the world knows today—a charismatic champion of free thinking and universal compassion.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Dalai Lama is both the living conscience of the Tibetan people and an internationally respected human rights symbol. His high-profile appearances and books have fueled the surging popularity of Buddhism in the United States and throughout the West. This new, up-to-date biography provides insight into the curious and winning personality of the Dalai Lama as a boy and his wisdom as a man. The Buddhist spiritual worlds and the Dalai Lama's rarified role are engagingly and evenly presented.
The Dalai Lama's story is revealed from his early family life to his experiences in the world, his education as the 14th incarnation of the Lama, his exile in India, and his current struggles to help Tibet regain its independence from China. Especially helpful is the clear historical overview of the Tibetan crisis after the Chinese invasion. A timeline and glossary also supplement the text. Though the book is written especially for high school students doing reports, it will also be of immense interest to general readers.