Diane Wolff with a Foreword by Robert Thurman
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
A fabled country in the far reaches of the Himalayas, Tibet looms large in the popular imagination. The original home of the Dalai Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, Tibetan Buddhism inspires millions worldwide with the twin values of wisdom and compassion. Yet the Chinese takeover six decades ago also shows another side of Tibet—that of a passionate symbol of freedom in the face of political oppression.
International sympathy has kept the Dalai Lama’s appeals for autonomy on the world’s political agenda, but in light of China’s political and economic gains there is fear that Tibet is in danger of being forgotten by the world. As the Dalai Lama grows older, and the Chinese threaten to intervene in the selection of Tibet’s next spiritual leader, many wonder if there is any hope for the Tibetan way of life, or if it is doomed to become a casualty of globalization.
In Tibet Unconquered East Asia expert Diane Wolff explores the status of Tibet over eight-hundred-years of history. From the Mongol invasion, to the emergence of the Dalai Lama, Wolff investigates the history of political and economic relations between China and Tibet. Looking to the long rule of Chinggis Khan as a model, she argues, that by thinking in regional terms both countries could usher in a new era of prosperity while maintaining their historical and cultural identities.
Wolff creates a forward-thinking blueprint for resolving the China and Tibet problem, grounded in the history of the region and the reality of today’s political environment that, will guide both countries to peace.
"No one summarizes the historical backdrop to current events for the general reader like Diane Wolff. Even when the history is complex as it is for China and Tibet, Wolff does it with style and economy.” --Peter A. Brown, columnist, Wall Street Journal Online
“Ms. Wolff has produced a well-written and readable account about their crucial era in world history She offers a sound guide and analysis to the complex era, which initiated global history."--Professor Morris Rossabi, Columbia University, Biographer of Khubilai Khan
"Diane Wolff has written an important book that focuses on the history of the Tibet-China relationship. Especially fascinating is her excellent description of how the ‘Loose Reins’ government of Chinggis Khan held an empire that included China, Tibet, Mongolia and other regions together for a century, and she goes on to show how this could serve as a workable model for today's multi-national People's Republic of China, achieving the stability and harmony the Chinese leadership is striving for, while allowing the Tibetan people to enjoy their spiritual culture and restore their fragile environment. Her vision of how the 50-year-long futile China-Tibet struggle could easily be turned into a positive, win-win cooperative relationship is brilliant, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the issues and the possibilities."--Robert Thurman, Professor of Tibetan Buddhist studies, Columbia University, President, Tibet House US, Author of Why the Dalai Lama Matters, Atria, and Beyond Words
"I welcome this new book on Tibet. This is a critical juncture in Tibetan history, when the future of the Tibetan people, their culture, and the very concept of a Tibet, as a nation or a distinct entity, is under stress. It does us all a world of good to understand the history and complexity of the issues that surround Tibet."--Tenzin Tethong, Stanford University, Board of International Campaign for Tibet, Tibetan Cultural Official Ex Officio for Tibet House
"How do competing imaginations of Tibet's history affect the current debates over the Tibet question? Wolff provides an accessible, intelligent, and sophisticated insight and is a must read for those wanting to understand the story behind the headlines.”--Dibyesh Anand, Westminster University and author of Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination