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East Asian

Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China

Tim Johnson.
Publisher Nation  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9781568586014
Pages/Publication Date 333/2011
Daedalus Item Code 33000
This item is not available.
As China waits patiently for the Dalai Lama to die, the endgame for Tibet is quickly approaching, assays foreign correspondent Tim Johnson. A former Beijing bureau chief for two newspaper syndicates, Johnson explains how China's enormous economic growth enables the atheistic regime to tighten its chokehold on a people and a way of life that has become a spiritual beacon to millions. Johnson analyzes the high-stakes game between China's leaders, who fear that the ethnic and social unrest could loosen their grip on power, and the Dalai Lama, who gambles that the Communist Party may collapse and open the door to greater freedom for his people.

"Johnson, foreign correspondent for the Miami Herald and former Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, weaves together interviews with monks, nomads, exiled activists, and the Dalai Lama himself in this evocative account of China's escalating suppression of the Tibetan people and their traditional way of life. He witnesses the Tibetan capital's transformation to a 'theme park for visiting Chinese,' where Tibetans are now in the minority—an agenda China pursues with its minority communities: annexation followed by dilution, then erasure of the indigenous cultures. The gulf between the Han Chinese and Tibetans is mirrored in Beijing's dealings with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's leader in exile since 1959. Revered by the West, reviled by the Chinese, the Dalai Lama is a controversial figure among his own people—especially the young who advocate complete independence from China rather than the Dalai Lama's 'Middle Way.' Despite garnering celebrity allies and visibility for the Tibetan cause, the Dalai Lama is largely ineffectual: China's stranglehold continues and his own people 'are only dimly aware of the freedom concerts' and campaigns conducted on their behalf. A sobering, engrossing, and important account of an imperiled culture."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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