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The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  12 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
Paperback, 165 pages
Published April 2nd 1999 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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rachelm
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
...more
Morgan Garner
Apr 14, 2009 Morgan Garner rated it liked it
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
Aug 26, 2012 Michael Connolly rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, china
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
Michal Thoma
Apr 01, 2014 Michal Thoma rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, asia
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
Karen
Feb 12, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-the-world
This book is somewhat dated (1997), but I found the information interesting, considering I really knew very little about Tibet before reading this book. Goldstein gives a concise history of the Tibet and China relationship which is very complex. He lays out the arguments, with documents from both sides, how the US has exacerbated problems rather than making things better for the Tibetans, and what is possible for the future.
Kathy
Nov 18, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it
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
Zayden
Jul 24, 2013 Zayden rated it it was ok
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
Apr 25, 2009 Nicole Homan rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality, history
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
Jan 01, 2012 Missie Kay rated it it was amazing
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.
Mckinley
May 15, 2011 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Political history of area. Starts with brief overview of earlier history including Mongolian warring. A bit about English intervention in late 1800s as that leads into the last 120 years with China. Dry reading for a very complex issue.
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