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Thomas Laird is a longtime journalist who has lived in Katmandu, Nepal and is intimately familiar with the area. Over the course of three years, he had many personal conversations with the Dalai Lama in order to write this book. The result is a personal and spiritual history. Because of his intense meditations, the Dalai Lama offers thoughtful and sometimes surprising reflections on this mysterious part of the world, including his conclusion that the traditional theory of the view of creation involving a demon and a monkey is inconsistent with the theory of evolution that he believes in. He reflects on Buddhism, recent and past Chinese history, and his own remarkable childhood and fate as the chosen leader of his people. He describes his personal and political views on his own exile and the Chinese occupation of his country. Laird obviously has great affection and respect for the Dalai Lama as well as for the region, and this shines through the entire book in his descriptions of the country, its monument and its leader. The author concludes that we can come together politically only when we acknowledge our distinctiveness. The book has an extensive bibliography and notes on each chapter and includes two sections of photographs. Reviewer: Nola Theiss
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)
Posted July 16, 2008
This book provides a glimpse into the history of Tibet and the political influence of the Dalai Lamas. It gives a good religious history and the implications of the religion on the political consequence in Tibet. It explains the impact of the foreign influence exerting power in Tibet from the time of the Mongolian empires to the Manchu empire. The book does a good job of explaining the current situation of where our Tibet has landed in.
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Posted August 23, 2010
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