By Melvyn C. Goldstein

It isn't attainable to completely comprehend modern politics among China and the Dalai Lama with out knowing what happened--and why--during the Fifties. In a e-book that keeps the tale of Tibet's background that he begun in his acclaimed A historical past of contemporary Tibet, 1913-1951: The death of the Lamaist country, Melvyn C. Goldstein seriously revises our figuring out of that key interval in midcentury. This authoritative account makes use of new archival fabric, together with by no means prior to obvious records, and vast interviews with Tibetans, together with the Dalai Lama, and with chinese language officers. Goldstein furnishes interesting and occasionally wonderful pics of those significant gamers as he deftly unravels the fateful intertwining of Tibetan and chinese language politics opposed to the backdrop of the Korean battle, the tenuous Sino-Soviet alliance, and American chilly warfare coverage.

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Additional resources for A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955 (Philip E. Lilienthal Books)

Sample text

Based on the great difficulties caused by that [which others have no means for imitating] after doing their corvée taxes, for three, four, five years we are requesting a concession of taxes in kind. 10 As is seen in this example, proposals submitted to the Dalai Lama for his action were cast in the form of a decision coming from him. Thus, the first sentence of this petition indicates that the Dalai Lama (or, in his minority, the regent) examined the request on such and such a date, and the underlining in the final sentence indicate his approval.

12 introduction astery’s estates. Drepung required large quantities of firewood for the daily “mang ja” tea it served its ten thousand monks and decided to use its corvée peasant labor force to provide this at no cost to the monastery. It did so by moving twelve young unmarried men from one of the monastery’s estates to a noncontiguous mountain area, where they lived in tents and were responsible for cutting and transporting firewood for a ten-year period. These youths were drafted on the basis of their families’ obligation to provide corvée labor to the lord, so they received no salary or food during the ten years the monastery kept them there, although their families did receive credit for providing one corvée laborer per day to the estate.

6 introduction cal system restricted the Dalai Lama (or regent). While the ruler unquestionably held ultimate authority over all decision making, his power was limited by his lack of information. In the above incident, for example, the Dalai Lama knew only what was in the recommendation, and since recommendations for action were supported by the Kashag, he would almost always leave the basic notion intact, even though, as he did here, he might well alter some points within the decision. On major issues, the Dalai Lama could summon the Kashag for a meeting and discuss the issue in question in person, but for most recommendations he based his decision on what was given him.

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