Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War

By Klieger, P. Christiaan | The China Journal, July 2011 | Go to article overview

Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War


Klieger, P. Christiaan, The China Journal


Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War, by Carole McGranahan. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010. xx + 307 pp. US$84.95 (hardcover), US$23.95 (paperback).

Carole McGranahan' s Arrested Histories is a valid attempt to place memoirs on a continuum with more formal and official histories, in which all are able, in some manner, to support collective consciousness. It is an important early work on a chapter of Tibetan national history now coming to light: the little-known war of resistance fought by Khampa soldiers between 1956 and 1974. The book is also an ethnography of the process of "binding and loosening" socially meaningful facts, and their accommodation or rejection as an agency of statecraft.

The social process of arrested histories in Tibet acknowledges the long-term Buddhist practice of gter ma, the hiding of religious texts (often commentaries) until the proper time and place for their revelation. McGranahan argues that the historical milieu which created the concept of gter ma has facilitated an heuristic ordering of many historical narratives, in this case a history of the Khampa resistance to the PLA occupying forces in Tibet from 1956 to 1974. The state narrative, as well as the personal narratives of the Chushi Gangdrug members, are neither mutually exclusive nor competitive - any or all can be invoked in socially meaningful ways appropriate to the circumstance. One reason that the narratives of the resistance have not become well-known until now is that the history of armed resistance against the Chinese has been seen as inconsistent with the exiled Dalai Lama's decision to foster Tibetan rights through non-violent means. In addition, the CIA suffered a tarnished reputation during this period of the Cold War as a particularly unattractive agency of empire.

It is evident that the Tibetan government-in-exile, at least since the late 1 970s, has distanced itself from the history of the resistance. The Chushi Gangdrug existed from 1956 to the early 1970s; among many other victories, they are known primarily for creating a national guard that successfully secured the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile in 1959 and allowed the escape of the Tibetan government to India. When relations between the People's Republic of China and the US thawed in the 1970s, financial and intelligence support evaporated, and most of the members of the Chushi Gangdrug marched into India, giving up their arms at the border.

The history of the resistance, although mentioned briefly by the Dalai Lama in his two autobiographies, was never incorporated into the official history of the post-exile government. However, McGranahan, quoting pro-independence activist Jamyang Norbu, notes that the existence of the Tibetan government-inexile and the position of the Dalai Lama as a world leader is entirely dependent on the early successes of the Chushi Gangdrug. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.