History As Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People's Republic of China

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Overview

Despite Chinese efforts to stop foreign countries from granting him visas, the Dalai Lama has become one of the most recognizable and best loved people on the planet, drawing enormous crowds wherever he goes. By contrast, China's charismatically-challenged leaders attract crowds of protestors waving Tibetan flags and shouting "Free Tibet!" whenever they visit foreign countries. By now most Westerners probably think they understand the political situation in Tibet. But, John Powers argues, most Western scholars of Tibet evince a bias in favor of one side or the other in this continuing struggle. Some of the most emotionally charged rhetoric, says Powers, is found in studies of Tibetan history. narratives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"History as Propaganda is a fascinating study of how historical sources and events are selectively and subjectively interpreted by Chinese propagandists, Tibetan exiles, and Western scholars for the purpose of furthering diametrically opposed political claims. Powers presents well-reasoned arguments that challenge many facile assumptions about Tibets complex relationships with successive Chinese administrations. The authors critical yet balanced approach is destined to ruffle feathers on both sides of the political chasm. This is a must read for anybody who is interested in Tibets political status, and is a welcome contribution to the literature concerning nationalism, ethnicity, and historical argumentation." —Geoff Childs, author of Tibetan Diary: From Birth to Death and Beyond in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal

"This is a useful, clear-headed, and profoundly discouraging account of two deeply held but completely incommensurate versions of the Tibetan past and present.... Powers provides a balanced guide through the literature with this entirely reliable account of versions of history credible only to true believers on each side."—CHOICE

"History as Propaganda provides a scholarly and dispassionate examination of ways in which Chinese and Tibetans project their claims and counter-claims in the international arena. The book should appeal to all those interested in Tibetan affairs." —Tsering Shakya, author of The Dragon in the Land of Snows

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195174267
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Powers is a Reader at the Centre for Asian Studies and Histories at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is the author of numerous books, including A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2000) and Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (1995).

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Table of Contents

1 Old Tibet : a clash of myths 3
2 Characters, plots, and motivations in Tibetan history 29
3 Reinventing China 73
4 Family reunion or shotgun wedding? 111
Conclusion : another fine myth 151
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