Sky Burial: An Eyewitness Account of China's Brutal Crackdown in Tibet

Sky Burial: An Eyewitness Account of China's Brutal Crackdown in Tibet

by Blake Kerr, John Ackerly
     
 

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This is a riveting firsthand account by Blake Kerr, an American doctor who inadvertently walked into one of the grimmest scenes of political oppression in the world. Kerr was visiting Tibet with his old college friend John Ackerly. They were enjoying the sights and sounds of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and hitchhiking to Everest, where they "humped loads" for an… See more details below

Overview

This is a riveting firsthand account by Blake Kerr, an American doctor who inadvertently walked into one of the grimmest scenes of political oppression in the world. Kerr was visiting Tibet with his old college friend John Ackerly. They were enjoying the sights and sounds of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and hitchhiking to Everest, where they "humped loads" for an American expedition assaulting the mountain. Upon returning to Lhasa, Kerr and Ackerly witnessed a series of demonstrations by Tibetan monks greater than anything witnessed by foreigners since China entered Tibet in 1949.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1987, Kerr, a young physician, and his friend John Ackerly, a lawyer, went to Tibet on an unabashedly larky jaunt in search of adventure. After impetuously hiking 22,000 feet on Chomohunga in sneakers, they were in Lhasa when a small group of Buddhist monks appeared chanting ``China out of Tibet.'' Huge crowds gathered; the monks were arrested by Chinese police, some were rumored to have been beaten or shot and there was bloodshed in the now rioting crowd. Kerr and Ackerly were so deeply affected by the violence and by other evidence of Chinese repression of the Tibetans that they became activists in the cause of Tibetan independence. A year later, Kerr returned to document population control measures imposed by the Chinese on the Tibetans. He visited hospitals, observed several abortions and talked--sometimes in sign language, occasionally with the help of an interpreter--with doctors and patients, who described China's two-child limit, one-child-preferred population policies and the grossly unsanitary conditions of medical procedures. The small number of Tibetan voices, eccentric circumstances and emotional reporting detract from the impact of this part antic travelogue, part serious polemic. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Upon completing medical studies in 1987, Kerr persuaded a Dartmouth undergraduate friend to accompany him to Tibet. The first third of this well-written book describes their travels in Tibet as backpackers and concludes with an account of their briefly joining an American expedition on the north face of Mount Everest. Then Kerr recounts his being caught in the mass rioting in Lhasa in October 1987; he was detained, and his visa was canceled. Upon leaving Tibet, Kerr went to India, where he met with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan groups to describe what he saw in Lhasa. Kerr concludes with his return to China and Tibet, where he informally surveyed population control practices ranging from abortions to mass sterilizations. Kerr's masterful prose makes it hard to put the book down, and what he describes certainly needs to reach a wide audience.-- Donald Clay Johnson, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis
From the Publisher
"Sky Burial is the distilled truth—alternately tragic, hilarious, and rousing—of two young Americans' exposure to the joyous spirit of the Tibetan people and their courageous struggle to survive under the brutal subjugation of Chinese communist rule. It is a vivid portrait of a critical moment in Tibet's modern history. An evocative, endearing, and invaluable book."—John Avedon, author of In Exile from the Land of Snows 

"The story is told uncommonly well by Kerr—a well-crafted text by a writer sure of his talents."—Tibet Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559397247
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
220
Sales rank:
1,247,238
File size:
2 MB

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