Tibet  -  A Political History

Tibet - A Political History

Product ID: 29127

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Author: Tsepon W D Shakabpa
Publisher: Paljor Publications
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 521
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-86230-68-8


Tibet has long captured the imagination of the world for its unique religious traditions and its awesome remoteness on the “Roof of the World”, but its actual history and the role it has played in the Asian Political arena are less well known.

In this book, the first of its kind in English by an eminent Tibetan scholar, we are given the full account of the Tibetan nation, from its earliest civilizations up to the tragedy of the current Chinese occupation.

Drawing on original Tibetan documents, government archives and ancient chronicles, as well as recent Western academic research, the author relates the fascinating chapters of Tibet’s history with the astute understanding of an inside observer.

Beginning with Tibet’s Yalung dynasty and its military domination of medieval Asia, the narrative continues through the official adoption of Indian Buddhism, Tibet’s influence in the Mongol court of Kublai Khan, the rise to political power of the Dalai Lama, and Tibet’s struggles with foreign expansionism.

In the final chapters the author, himself an official in the Tibetan government at that time, gives a first-hand account of the Chinese invasion in 1950, the Tibetan resistance and eventual uprising, and the mass exodus of refuges across the Himalayas into India and abroad. This is an engrossing and insightful book, presenting a vivid picture of political personalities and the character of the Tibetan people, and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Asian Affairs.



1. An Introduction to Tibet
2. The Empire of the Early Kings of Tibet
3. The Struggle for Religious Survival
4. Lamas and Patrons
5. The Phamo Drupa, Rinpung, and Tsangpa Hegemonies
6. The Emergence of the Dalai Lamas
7. The Fifth Dalai Lama Assumes Power
8. Rival Powers in Tibet
9. The Seventh Dalai Lama and the Beginning of Manchu Influence in Tibet
10. War with the Gurkhas and the Dogras
11. Desi Shatra and Palden Dondup : Strong Men of the Nineteenth Century
12. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and Britain's Border Policy
13. The Younghusband Military Expedition and its Aftermath
14. The 1910 Chinese Invasion of Lhasa and Tibet's Struggle to Maintain her Independence
15. Further Evidence of Tibetan Independence
16. Clashes between Tibetans and Chinese in Kham
17. The Whirlwind of Political Strife
18. The Communist Chinese Invasion
19. The Revolt

1. Ladakhi Letter of Agreement, 1842
2. Tibetan Letter of Agreement, 1842
3. Tibet – Ladakh Trade Agreement, 1853
4. Speech by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, at the Symposium on Buddhism’s Contribution to art, Letters and Philosophy on November 29, 1956, New Delhi, India
Glossary of Tibetan Terms