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Escape from the Land of Snows: The Young Dalai Lama's Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero
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Escape from the Land of Snows: The Young Dalai Lama's Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  40 reviews
On the evening of March 17, 1959, as the people of Tibet braced for a violent power grab by Chinese occupiers—one that would forever wipe out any vestige of national sovereignty—the twenty-four-year-old Dalai Lama, Tibet’s political and spiritual leader, contemplated the impossible. The task before him was immense: to slip past a cordon of crack Chinese troops ringing his ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2010)
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The history of Tibet and its relationship with China is outlined in this account of the Dalai Lama’s exile during the uprising in 1959. While the writing wasn’t exceptional, the subject was well researched and gave a good background of the political climate of the region at the time. China asserted its authority over Tibet, but there was resistance by the deeply religious people who did not want to be ruled by communists despite the progress and modernization they brought to the isolated nation. ...more
This is an easy read and exciting, too, but that is not to say it lacks deep research or avoids the complexity of China-Tibet relations and Tibetan history and culture. The author does an excellent job showing the good and the bad. He does not romanticize Tibet. There are many interesting aspects to this story and one for me was learning about the CIA’s involvement with the rebels in the 1950s. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Tibet and/or the suppression of freedom.
There is no doubt I have rated this book high as a result of having traveled to Tibet, specifically Lhasa. Having heard the story from our tour guide while there is was wonderful to read all of the details and history leading up to the Dahli Lama's escape from his homeland. I will credit our tour guide with having done a very good job with the reader's digest version of events. The book came alive as the author described the various monasteries and palaces knowing we had walked the same streets ...more
Michael Kerr
This book covering the early life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his escape from the Chinese, is well researched without falling into the weighty academic category. Beginning with his identification as the incarnation as the 14th Dalai Lama, the narrative provides glimpses of the very closed society he was born into and traces his gradual evolution into the great leader he has become. The uprising of 1959, during which the escape took place, provides the central drama of the book. Talty's ha ...more
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Actually the first half of this book is detailed and extremely interesting background leading up to the escape story. The author explains in interesting details how the Dalai Lama was chosen and the story of his training and upbringing. He also tells the fascinating story of what happened from the time the Chinese invaded Tibet until the escape in 1959.

In light of the fact that the Dalai Lama recently announced his retirement from the political side of his job, I found this story important and

Before reading Escape from the Land of Snows, I had a vague, general understanding of Tibet and the Dalai Lama. I knew Tibet had been invaded by China, its territory is protected by the mountain ranges above Nepal (and Mt. Everest), and that it is a nation of Buddhists and pacifists. I'd seen various movies/books that depicted the selection of the Dalai Lama and about Tibet was aware that much poetic license had been taken - James Hilton's Shangri-La, Tintin in Tibet, Little Buddha, Seven Years
Brian Bigelow
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." ~ Dalai Lama

This is a very amazing viewpoint for anyone to have in my opinion. Every persons life is a journey and this book looks at the life's journey of the Dalai Lama.

A fascinating and thoughtfully written story that has been thoroughly researched by Mr. Talty. While reading this book I could easily envision the people and places. Especially interesting was the political and military history of Tibet. Also of interest to me was the int
Jenny Karraker

This was a real page turner that was hard to put down. I remember when the movie Seven Years in Tibet came out and what am impact it made on the the youth. Seems like everyone was passing out literature about Tibet and the oppression by the Chinese, and bumper stickers appeared everywhere, saying Free Tibet. So it was informative to read more about those events. interesting how the search committee had a vision which led them to find this young child and that the child knew their names, was abl

Short, wonderful account of the Dalai Lama' s flight from Tibet. China for centuries kept Tibet under suzerainty where officials from China were tolerated as Tibet had gone its own way. It had a history of not allowing foreigners into the country in order to keep their culture and traditions intact even killing those who came. Eventually the British came and the Chinese invaded in 1959. As the Chinese officially claimed Tibet as its own, other powerful countries were not in the mood for challen
Some people's lives defy all odds and explanations. The Dalai Lama is one. His birth and early life are so distant from his later life that it beggars description. This book does a marvellous job of telling the tale, the history of the Dalai Lamas and of Tibet. Only the last portion (the authors trip to Tibet) is a bit of a disappointment and detracts from the whole. It is still a very interesting book and well recommended. The narration in the audio version is a treat.
After finishing Tetsu Saiwai's manga bio of the 14th Dali Lama (highly rec for all ages), decided I needed to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of his life.
I was looking for a book that informed me about the Lhasa Uprising 52 years ago, that gave me insight into the Dali Lama's trek across the Himalayas fleeing certain death at the hands of Mao's PLA & his growth from a sheltered child king-god into the modern Nobel Laureate in 1989. This book fell woefully short in my expectations.
My first exposure to the struggle of the Tibetan people and the Dali llama. Very interesting section on the search for the re-incarnated 14th as a child and the signs they looked for as proof they had found him.
May 29, 2011 L rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to L by: NPR book review
This book describes the flight of the young Dalai Lama's flight to freedom in 1959 from Tibet to India during the Chinese invasion. The story starts from the time the Dalai Lama is chosen as a small boy to modern day.
This story helped to put together all the pieces I remember of the Dalai Lama's life. He was in Minnesota a few months ago when I was there, so his appearance renewed my interest in this story. I heard a review last year on NPR about the book, which had not been released yet, so it
I saw this book displayed on the "new books" bookcase in the E.L. library and knew it was a must read. It would fill in the blanks of my knowledge about how the Dalai Lama, one of my personal heroes, got to India. However, I was not sure I could get through it. So much sadness! So much violence! However, the depth and descriptions and wide view of the author kept me going. Glad I read it.
Pretty good, but I was reading a lot of non-fiction and hit a wall with this book. I had to take a break and that cut the momentum and thus the readability of the book. In retrospect, I might have rather read one of the Dalai Lama's own biographies. Nonetheless, this was interesting and I learned a lot. I have even greater respect now for the Dalai Lama.
An excellent view into the early life of the Dalai Lama. This gives you an interesting perspective on what experience formed the man we hear about and from today. What I also found particularly interesting was Talty's insights on Task Force Tibet, and the both the U.S. and world response to blatant PRC aggression in this country.
Deanna (Anya)
Mar 08, 2011 Deanna (Anya) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like history stories
Not the type of thing I usually read. But a fantastic life story of the fourteenth Dalai Lamais trek out of war torn Tibet. The personal strength and vigilance that it took for the entire group to tackle the mountainous trek and risk their lives to save their lives. Good history details and well written. Highly recommend it.
This book was very educational. I appreciated the gathering of information that the author took to write this book. I found it to be accurate portrayal of the escape of the young Dalai Lama. After reading this book, I found the epilogue to be perhaps the most interesting chapter, The author goes to Lhasa in 2009.
Beautifully written and very moving. No matter what your religious beliefs, this is a fascinating true story of the Dalai Lama's escape on foot from communist China's occupation of Tibet back in 1959. It's difficult to fathom such an expedition through the Himalayas. Very tragic!
Jon Scarborough
Stephen Talty's well-written account of the Dalia Lama's escape from Tibet's capital in 1959 reads more like a thriller. Very fast moving, with explainations of the Tibetan and Buddhist cultures. Seemingly unbiased, discusses events from various points of views. Highly reccommend.
Royce Aldridge
This was an incredible book. I learned a lot about the region & the people of Tibet. I really enjoyed reading this account of the Dalai Lama's epic journey. I have a greater respect for him as a person & a leader now that I understand what he survived & underwent.
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
I don't generally like books that have to have a cast of characters at the beginning of them, but this book was interesting and had excellent, simply writing that made it very easy-to-read and quick to read. Not my favorite book, but not bad either.
Interesting and informative, Talty examines the escape fo the Dalai Lama from the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Talty provides an excellent context for understanding how the Dalai Lama grew into his role as the leader-in-exile of the Tibetan people.
I enjoyed this book, but I expected more focus on the person and less on the politics. The book centered on the tension and battle leading up to the escape. I had hoped for more information directly from the Dalai Lama.
As much as I have tried to like this book, even re-listening to sections, it is b-o-r-i-n-g to me. Sorry. Too much war talk, a lot of seeming repetition. Not sure I learned anything at all from this book.
I didn't care for how much it jumped around - made it hard to follow at times. But, what a fascinating story. It's a topic I didn't know much about, and am grateful to know more now.
Spellbinding.Had no idea how this man fits into history. So interesting and informative about the war between Tibet and China and the reverence the people have for the DL.
This was a great biography of the Dalai Lama and how he escaped from Tibet. I was amazed at how the Tibetan people supported him and helped in the escape. It was fascinating.
Iona Turner
This book was interesting, but I thought it was poorly written. Didn't really spend much time on the "harrowing flight", sort of skimmed over it which disappointed me.
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Stephan Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of six acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction, as well as the Abbie Kearney crime novels. Originally from Buffalo, he now lives outside New York City.

Talty began as a widely-published journalist who has contributed to the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, Time Out New York, Details, and many other publications. He is the author of t
More about Stephan Talty...
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