Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s

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This is the first investigation into the little-known Bolshevik foreign ministry’s strenuous efforts to win Lhasa over to the Soviet cause in the 1920s. Examining the history of relations between Russia (tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet) and Tibet from the 17th century to the 1990s, the author puts at the core of his narrative the previously unknown story of clandestine negotiations between the Soviet government and the 13th Dalai Lama, forming part of Moscow’s bitter struggle against British imperialism in Asia.
The book provides insight into Soviet secret diplomacy and draws important conclusions relating to the history of Anglo-Russian competition for Tibet and Tibet’s status prior to 1951.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...a valuable and very readable contribution to our understanding of modern Tibetan history. The author presents a large number of thus-far unknown facts on the activities of Soviet officials in Tibet in the 1920's en 1930's and their assessment of the political, military and social situation in Central Tibet.'
Martin Slobodnik, Archiv Orientalni, 2004.
'...clearly written and persuasively argued...'
G.E. Snow, Choice, 2004.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004129528
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/25/2003
  • Series: Brill's Tibetan Studies Library Series , #4
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandre I. Andreyev, Ph.D. (1998) in History, St Petersburg University, is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for the History of Science & Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg. He has published extensively on Buddhism in Russia and Russian exploration in Central Asia including The Buddhist Shrine of Petrograd (1992) and From Lake Baikal to Sacred Lhasa (1997).

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Looking for Russian sources
Ch. 1 Tsarist Russia and Tibet: An Unwelcome Rapprochement 1
Ch. 2 The Bolsheviks enter the scene 69
Ch. 3 Moscow's first Encounter with Lhasa, 1921-1922 117
Ch. 4 The Soviet Challenge: The Borisov Mission, 1923-1925 162
Ch. 5 Playing the Mongolian card: The Chapchaev Mission, 1926-1928 239
Ch. 6 Nicholas Roerich and his "Western Buddhist Embassy" 293
Ch. 7 The final efforts to win Tibet over 319
Conclusions: Tibet between Britain and two Russias 367
Epilogue: In the Aftermath of the Great Game 375
Glossary 395
List of Abbreviations 399
Bibliography 403
Index 413
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