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The Snow Lion and the ...
Melvyn C. Goldstein
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The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Tensions over the "Tibet Question" the political status of Tibet are escalating every day. The Dalai Lama has gained broad international sympathy in his appeals for autonomy from China, yet the Chinese government maintains a hard-line position against it. What is the history of the conflict? Can the two sides come to an acceptable compromise? In this thoughtful analysis, d ...more
ebook, 165 pages
Published November 3rd 1997 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 1997)
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I found this to be a concise and useful introduction to Tibetan history and to the complex historical relationship between Tibet and China.

Goldstein has been criticized by both Tibetan and Chinese partisans for his portrayal of the conflict (his decision to not deal at all with human rights issues in Tibet felt problematic to me.)

However, his endeavor to present the context (available information, historical framework, etc.) within which all parties made decisions is incredibly helpful in under
Michal Thoma
Extremely interesting book uncovering the complexity of sino-tibetan relations from the early history of Tibet till recent years. To accuse author of being pro-Chinese is injustice, the book is balanced focusing on explaining the crucial concerns which did lead to the decision of both Tibetan and Chinese players. The true is that while the Chinese are mostly portrayed as behaving somewhat mechanically or even rationally, the Tibetan leadership is ofter portrayed as naive and inept. This is in fa ...more
Morgan Garner
This is a very interesting overview of the Tibetan Problem, illuminating both the perspective of the Dalai Lama, and that of the Peoples Republic of China. Although it tends to take a sympathetic view of the Tibetan people, Goldstein does not stint in declaiming the mistakes of the Dalai Lama, along with those of Tibet's Communist rulers. Goldstein gives an excellent overview of the history of Tibet...outlining their long history of independence...and concludes with a discussion of the U.S. invo ...more
Michael Connolly
Tibet is a sparsely populated region on a high plateau north of the Himalayas. In fact, for thousands of years, many Tibetans have lived in areas that are now provinces of China: Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces. The Chinese province of Tibet is the largest part of ethnographic Tibet. For the vast majority of its history, Tibet has been an independent country, separate from China. However, because of its peaceful Buddhist nature, Tibet has never had a strong military, and so has not ...more
Useful overview of the political situation in Tibet and relations with China over the last couple centuries, focusing on recent interaction with communist China. The book came out 10 years ago, so it would be interesting to read an update of the situation, to see what the author's take is on it now. I got the feeling, however, that the author hasn't had any first-hand experience with Tibetan Buddhist practice (nor does he seem to have much interest or see its relevance). In my very inexpert opin ...more
I had heard a lot about Melvyn Goldstein before reading anything by him. Seeing for myself, its pretty clear that he doesn't like Tibetans. The facts and dates and data in this book are very precise which I liked, but there were passages in which he unnecessarily insults Tibetans. Using words like "inept" and almost arguing a "they-were-asking-for-it" rationalization for Chinese occupation, I believe, are uncalled for.
Nicole Homan
I found this to be a good primer on the history between Tibet and China.

The first time I read this book, I was on an airplane flying from Boston to Cleveland. The passenger next to me asked why I was reading the book. The question seemed kind of odd, but it turned out he was traveling to Cleveland to visit his friend, Melvyn Goldstein, the author...a strange bit of synchronisity.
Missie Kay The Book Fix
Goldstein has clearly studied the situation between China and Tibet to an extent that few Westerners have. His treatment of the history is clear and concise, not glossing over mistakes made on either side. As for his solution, it would work, if any of the parties involved would agree, but this seems doubtful.
Will Dewey
A decent introduction, but maybe a bit too pro-Chinese (at least in tone)
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