Memories of Life in Lhasa Under Chinese Rule

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Overview

Born in 1941, Tubten Khétsun is a nephew of the Gyatso Tashi Khendrung, one of the senior government officials taken prisoner after the Tibetan peoples' uprising of March 10, 1959. Khétsun himself was arrested while defending the Dalai Lama's summer palace, and after four years in prisons and labor camps, he spent close to two decades in Lhasa as a requisitioned laborer and "class enemy."

In this eloquent autobiography, Khétsun describes what life was like during those troubled years. His account is one of the most dispassionate, detailed, and readable firsthand descriptions yet published of Tibet under the Communist occupation. Khétsun talks of his prison experiences as well as the state of civil society following his release, and he offers keenly observed accounts of well-known events, such as the launch of the Cultural Revolution, as well as lesser-known aspects of everyday life in occupied Lhasa.

Since Communist China continues to occupy Tibet, the facts of this era remain obscure, and few of those who lived through it have recorded their experiences at length. Khétsun's story will captivate any reader seeking a refreshingly human account of what occurred during the Maoists' shockingly brutal regime.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
A welcome and informative addition on this little-understood and highly polemicized subject.

— George Fitzherbert

Far Eastern Economic Review
This book provides an important piece of the puzzle for those seeking to understand the experience of ordinary Tibetans since 1959.

— Rick Carew

The Journal of Asian Studies
A powerful indictment of the physical and psychological exploitation of the Tibetan people and natural environment in the service of building a "new" China.

— Benno Ryan Weiner

China Review International

evocatively written and beautifully translated

Times Literary Supplement - George Fitzherbert

A welcome and informative addition on this little-understood and highly polemicized subject.

Far Eastern Economic Review - Rick Carew

This book provides an important piece of the puzzle for those seeking to understand the experience of ordinary Tibetans since 1959.

The Journal of Asian Studies - Benno Ryan Weiner

A powerful indictment of the physical and psychological exploitation of the Tibetan people and natural environment in the service of building a "new" China.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231142861
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Akester is an independent researcher and translator working in the field of Tibetan history.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents


Translator's Introduction     vii
Preface     xix
The Story of My Family     1
My Childhood     9
The March 10th Uprising     24
The Chinese Fan the Flames of War     34
Imprisoned at the Tibet Military District Headquarters     40
Imprisoned at the Norbu Lingka Barracks     54
At the Nga-chen Power Station Construction Site     57
In Tering Prison     72
In Drapchi Prison     90
The Trong-nying Prison Farm     119
Back Home from Prison     137
The Agitation by the Muslims of Woba-ling     149
The Fall of the Panchen Lama     152
The Misuse of Education     157
The Establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region     160
The Onset of the Cultural Revolution     167
The June 7th Massacre     191
A Disastrous New Year     201
Old Tsampa in Old Meru     208
The Sino-Soviet War Brings Increased Oppression     211
The "One Smash and Three Antis" Campaign     214
The "Great Massacre"     219
PLA Soldiers Destroy the Fruits of the People's Labor in the Marshes     225
The Systematic Destruction of GandenMonastery     235
Sent to Kongpo for the Second Time     240
The Xichao Dachang Timber Yard     244
The Tolung Power Station Construction Camp     247
The Lin Biao Affair     251
The Defamation Campaign     254
"Socialist Transformation"     257
The Banak-shol Production Cooperative     262
The Farmer's Life     267
The Death of Mao Zedong and Subsequent Developments     273
The Rewards of My Hard Work     280
Working in the Potala Palace     283
At the Tibet Academy of Social Science     292
Epilogue: Leaving Tibet     295
Index     299
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