On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet: The Nyemo Incident of 1969

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Among the conflicts to break out during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet, the most famous took place in the summer of 1969 in Nyemo, a county to the south and west of Lhasa. In this incident, hundreds of villagers formed a mob led by a young nun who was said to be possessed by a deity associated with the famous warrior-king Gesar. In their rampage the mob attacked, mutilated, and killed county officials and villagers as well as locally stationed People's Liberation Army troops. This groundbreaking book, the first on the Cultural Revolution in Tibet, revisits the Nyemo incident, which has long been romanticized as the epitome of Tibetan nationalist resistance against China. Melvyn C. Goldstein, Ben Jiao, and Tanzen Lhundrup demonstrate that far from being a spontaneous battle for independence, this violent event was actually part of a struggle between rival revolutionary groups and was not ethnically based. Drawing on extensive firsthand interviews with surviving participants as well as on unpublished Chinese documents, On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet proffers a sober assessment of human malleability and challenges the tendency to view every sign of unrest in Tibet in ethnonationalist terms.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A heart-pounding narrative interspersed with the cool, distant voice of analysis. From the first page, the reader is graphically immersed in the chaotic world of the Cultural Revolution."—Buddhadharma

"A vital contribution has been rendered to the literature on both modern Tibet and the Cultural Revolution."—Journal of Asian Stds (Jas) / Se Asia & Western Pacific

"Highly commendable for offering insight into this period."—Journal of American History


"A heart-pounding narrative interspersed with the cool, distant voice of analysis. From the first page, the reader is graphically immersed in the chaotic world of the Cultural Revolution."
Journal Of Asian Stds (Jas) / Se Asia & Western Pacific

“A vital contribution has been rendered to the literature on both modern Tibet and the Cultural Revolution.”
Journal Of American History

“Highly commendable for offering insight into this period.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520267909
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,446,267
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Melvyn C. Goldstein is John Reynolds Harkness Professor of Anthropology and the Co-Director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University. Ben Jiao is Deputy Director of the Contemporary Tibetan Research Institute at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, Lhasa. Tanzen Lhundrup is Deputy Director of the Social and Economic Institute at the Beijing Tibetology Center, Beijing.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Explanation of Romanization, Brackets, and Abbreviations

Introduction 1

1 The Cultural Revolution in Tibet 11

2 Gyenlo and Nyamdre in Nyemo County 59

3 Gyenlo on the Attack 86

4 Destroying the Demons and Ghosts 107

5 The Attacks on Bagor District and Nyemo County 122

6 The Capture of the Nun 137

7 Conclusions 162

8 Epilogue 172

App. 1 The Nun's Manifesto 183

App. 2 Leaflet Publishing the Text of a Speech Criticizing the Regional Party Committee 185

App. 3 The Truth about the Struggle to Seize the Power of the Tibet Daily Newspaper Office 191

Notes 197

Selected Glossary of Correct Tibetan Spellings 213

References 223

Index 229

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