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The Raven Crown
The hereditary monarchy of the Wangchuk dynasty was established in 1907 in the independent Himalayan state of Bhutan, thus introducing one of the world's most recent experiments in kingship. The new order quickly replaced a theocracy founded in the seventeenth century by the first of the Dharma Rajas, a lineage of reincarnating lamas known by the title of Shabdrung. The fi ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Serindia Publications
(first published January 1995)
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Surprisingly boring book on history of Bhutan. It fails to explain dynamics and actor's motivation and just summarizes events so unfortunately mostly you read who killed who and when. The worst is open and voiced bias for the royal dynasty. Nothing against that - the Wangchucks were and are respectable kings but such favourism should not be present in any serious history book. Pity that Aris was unable to separate his academic work from the relation to the court of Bhutan. Anyhow this is still a ...more
Good photography, good explanations under the photos, but the actual text is pretty dull and the names can be difficult to follow because a lot of people have the same name. If not for the photos it would just be a very dry history book. Also, in keeping with Bhutanese-style historiography, no one is ever that bad or gets criticized for any decision, even a hundred years later.