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My Land and My People: The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
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My Land and My People: The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  826 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Schooled behind ancient palace walls to become the leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has become a spiritual leader to the world and a leading civil rights advocate. My Land and My People tells the story of his life.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1962)
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Ashley
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm kind of torn on what I think about this book. On one hand I feel kind of jipped. The first few chapters were marvelous, and ridiculously interesting, but then it became 100% political. I feel as though I can recount every single detail of the struggle between Tibet & China. I feel as though I bought an autobiography, but ended up reading about politics.

On the other hand...I'm not sure I can really fault the Dalai Lama for that. I mean...that is his life, right? Seeing as how I (obviously
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Tenzin Deckyi
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This is one heart-wrenching story. Although I grew up hearing almost every details mentioned in the book, like any other Tibetan kid born into exile, reading the book written by the very man made it a whole new story. It overwhelmed me, tore my heart and had me weep.

You come to realize that your life and all those self-acclaimed tragedies that you have so far made a list of, doesn't come as near to what His Holiness had to experience. If anything, you are just an undeviating product of what hap
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Tatum Theaman
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction

I must first say that this is not the exact version I read (I read an early version printed in 1962), but it's the version of this book I could find.


This book was possibly the most incredible, beautiful, and heart-breaking book I have ever read. We've all at least heard bits and pieces of the story of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, but I have never heard it told in such a heart-wrenching manner, and yet, there is no bitterness. The Dalai Lama tells the story of not just the invasion, but of his

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Roniq
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Tibet, Buddhism, Non violence, Occupied Countries, The Dalai Lama
Recommended to Roniq by: found it used at the bookstore
The Dalai Lama is coming to Seattle. Woo Hoo!!!

This is a truly incredible book for learning about the culture of Tibet and the struggles and domination the country has endured as a result of Chinese occupation, in addition to having an insight into the man who would become the Dalai Lama. I learned so much reading this book. His story is amazing, from a very young age (four and a half) he journeyed to Lhasa and was recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama, the Temporal and Spiritual leader of Tibet. Hi
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Catherine
Sep 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Although I knew the broad outlines of what happened to TIbet in the mid-twentieth century, I had no idea the exact details, and I'm grateful to have read this book and to have a sense of exactly what was done, what was lost, and who gave their lives under such difficult circumstances. I also value the look at Tibetan life before the Chinese invasion - especially for beautiful moments of contradiction, like the Buddhist belief that it's wrong to take a life, but their commitment to eating meat, r ...more
PMP
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought "Freedom in Exile", the account more widely available in bookstores, was the definitive autobiography by HH the DL, untilI stumbled upon this in Dharamsala. The very last copy in a tiny bookstore was extricated from a dusty window display for me. Far more detailed, pained, immediate, reasoned than anything else I've read from or about HH. A mind-blowing piece of memoir writing in itself, where you can trace Buddhist practice in the very turn of a phrase. After he escaped from Chinese-o ...more
kista
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book! Held back tears in every page and let them flow when I was finished. Written in a manner that shows and tells the true emotions and motivations behind the Dalai Lamas actions during the time of the first years of Chinese occupation.
His Holiness is such an amazing human, a true inspiration. His softness and kindness is truly something spectacular and extraordinary in this world. Makes you wonder- what would the world be like if we'd all be like this.

My favourite book of all tim
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Leslie
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting account by the Dalai Lama of his childhood and escape into India. Clear explanations of the political climate. Very objective. He's not a dramatic crybaby whining for his country. He is so dignified and peaceful. I am outraged at what China has done to Tibet. I wonder if the Tibetans will ever get to go home.
Megan
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
"My Land and My People" is a fascinating and heartbreaking autobiography. And it is also not what I was expecting. After completing this book it is obvious why it is so heavily colored with descriptions of politics and government affairs as opposed to a more personal story of the Dali Lama and his life experiences; after all, he was thrust into the position of the political and religious leader of Tibet at a young age, and no doubt his entire life, personal and otherwise, has indeed been focused ...more
Lora Shouse
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the original autobiography of the Dali Lama. Written in the early 1960’s it ends just a few years after he was driven from his native Tibet by the Chinese. The book includes not only his own story, but, of necessity a brief history of the Tibetan people, the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and a recounting of the resolutions filed in the United Nations after the Dali Lama’s exile asking to have Tibet restored to the Tibetan people.

The story of the Dali Lama’s early life was especially interes
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Phayvanh
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all seekers
It's amazing that there are people in the world who have to go through ordeals such as one that the 14th Dalai Lama had to. Exiled since he was 13, but serving his days as a holy man since the day he was born basically, this story, told in his own words, gives a very touching and emotional narrative of his life , leading into exile.

I was very moved by his exile story, how reading it gave me more insight into my own parents' story during the American-Vietnam conflict, and how hard it must have be
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Tad Saffarally
The life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet is very obscure to most people. The Dalai Lama of Tibet is a very prominent and also controversial figure. However many people do not really know about him. 'My Land and My People: The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet' is a very honest story about His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It talks about his upbringings to his life at present day and how the political situation of his country has affected him.

I would reccomend thi
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Brett
May 25, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was written some time ago and although it's often referred to as the sort of quintessential account of the siege of Tibet, I don't think it really stands up to others I've read. It's a good, quick read. It's not a great book. It seems to suffer most from a lack of flow and cohesion. Plus, I think his holiness often has to err on the side of diplomacy and 2nd person accounts because of his position and his perspective on the situation. It may be a result of translation but there is a de ...more
Varsha
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I am a little confused about this book. Though it is an autobiography of the Dalai Lama, I felt I learnt more about Tibet than about the person. A nice succinct history of Tibet- told from his eyes but I did not get a peek into who the Dalai Lama was as a person. It felt like a reluctant biography. Maybe translated versions can never capture the essence of the original and at times the writing seemed like a literal translation which wasn't very captivating. I read somewhere "To preserve a becomi ...more
Megan
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
While reading this book, I was struck by several things. First, the Dalai Lama XVI is one of those rare people whose patience and wisdom from such a young age is truly remarkable, and this is an example of the right person at the right time. Second, throughout the book there is a tone of hope that a peaceful solution can and will be found. It's now been over 50 years, and he and 60,000 other Tibetans are still in exile. Third, the power of rhetoric ("reactionaries", "expansionist imperialists") ...more
Mark Austin
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
★ - Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
★★ - Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
★★★ - Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
★★★★ - Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
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Kevyn
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is extremely inspiring. You can't get a closer historical account of the Tibet / China conflict than this.
It is a very well-written history of events and also the present struggles of the Tibetan people. The Dalai Lama has an uncanny sense of compassion and it is easy to see from this book why he was awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. I very much enjoyed reading the book and highly recommend it. Anybody interested in Asian history, world politic
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Tyler Storm
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must read for those trying to understand the crisis in my beautiful country of TIBET

How those barbaric, communist Chinese soldiers massacred my people (from all backgrounds including monks,childrens and what not) and looted my land. Through this book you see through the eyes of his holiness the Dalai Lama and how he had to strive to keep his land and people safe.

Worth reading again and again. By the time you finish this book you will be in tears, enraged, and compassionate all at once.

Bless hi
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Jeannie Long
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book upon the recommendation of my 21 year old daughter who had to read it for a college class. I had been introduced to Buddhism through my meditation teacher and was somewhat familiar with how Tibet was taken over by Communist China in the 1950's. However, reading this book by a religious leader who is committed to non-violence really opened my eyes to the brutality of what Tibetans were subjected to. It's like Nazi Germany all over again, a slow but insidious doctrine with no tole ...more
Shahina
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everything here is told with a gentle bigheartedness - from the descriptions of his beloved land and people to the poignant narration of the loss of this home and all that he and his people held dear to the Chinese oppression.

What it means to be a Dalai Lama; it also tells the story of a people and a man who don't seem to belong to this modern world. A world that had become too small to let peaceful people, just be.
Stephanie
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I was going to like this book but it ended up being life altering. I understand more of whats going on in China. This book will make you so mad at China. I don't understand why they have to be that way to these peaceful people. But then I started thinking about what people think of America. They probably think the same about us. I am not saying they are the same, just observing the differents.
Nichole
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, memoirs
This book helped me see the Dalai Lama in a new light: not just as "His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet" who is to be completely enlightened, but as a man who overcame adversity as we all do...one day at a time. This book was difficult to put down as its descriptive passages helped keep you wanting more. I recommend it to everyone.
M Harris
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miscellaneous
This book really helped me to better understand the initial conditions of China's invasion of Tibet and the subsequent deterioration of Tibet-China relations which led to the Dalai Lama's escape into exile and the start of the Tibetan genocide. I would now like to read more of the Dalai Lama's writings.
Rendi
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
The Dalai Lama's story is fascinating. The events he endured and still endure are incredible. He is a light in so many peoples lives, especially Tibetans who look to him for guidance and perseverance under the oppressive Chinese regime. The Dalai Lama is truly a remarkable, kind, loving man and I had the amazing opportunity to see him speak in India on my birthday no less. Remarkable.
Vanessa
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone needing some perspective
I read this book while I was listening to the audio CD of Seven Years in Tibet. The life of this incredible man and the resilience with which he lives his life is inspiring. I'm not ashamed to say I cried a several passages. The summer after I read these books, all my conversations revolved around the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Maggie
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An honest account of the history and culture of Tibet and what happened when China invaded Tibet. This book also offers a good glimpse on Tibetan Buddhism and the vigorous training monks have to go through across both religious and academic studies.
Tenzin Deken
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a Tibetan born in exile this was a great book for me to read. It's great to know and hear about the events that led us into exile through HH 14th DL own accounts and experience. There were a lot of minor details that I wasn't aware of that I learned.
Jane
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every human
Shelves: autobiography
The autobiography of the Dalai Lama, what an amazing story. I had no idea what he endured throughout his lifetime. If anyone could hold a grudge, be angry or hate, it's him. The fact that he has chosen to love others speaks volumes of his character.
Alex Veilleux
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great autobiography on the thirteenth Dalai Lama. If you're at all interested in all the Free Tibet campaign you see around this book covers it all from the man in charge. Great book, very inspiring what the man has done with his life.
Kurt
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Learned more about the Dalai Lama and Tibetan history than I expected...fascinating. Not too favorable of 1950s China, of course. Also learned about the humble mistakes that Tibet made in their independence.
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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the
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