Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope

Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope

Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope

Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope

Synopsis

Freeing Tibet is the incredible, heroic story of Tibet's arduous struggle to keep freedom alive. Timely, impeccably researched and including a 16-page black & white photo insert, it will change the way we understand Tibet. In March of 1959, a 23-year-old Tibetan youth named Tenzin Gyatso burst onto the world stage. Fleeing his native country to govern in exile from India, the Dalai Lama would go on to become one of the great leaders of our time. Then, in March 2008, the diplomat, icon and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize was blamed for inciting violence in Tibet's traditional capital of Lhasa. As 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's rule in exile, the situation in Tibet has become more volatile than ever. Now, China must decide if it will give Tibet the right to govern itself and what the consequences will be for its economy and its place on the world stage. From the national uprising in 1959, which cost more than 85,000 Tibetans their lives, to the rise of the Tibetan freedom fighters; the after-effects of Nixon's historic visit to China, and preparations for the Dalai Lama's successor, this seminal history offers an insider's view of the 50-year struggle for autonomy. As a former Reagan White House political strategist, author John B. Roberts has had unprecedented access to the Dalai Lama's inner circle. Based on interviews with CIA and political insiders, this epic story gives readers a new understanding of a conflict that continues to fascinate the world.

Excerpt

Not too many years ago I read an account of a conversation His Holiness the Dalai Lama had with some of the West's finest scientists. One of the scientists candidly asked the Dalai Lama, in a manner clearly reflecting the mutual respect and trust they had developed over time, something like the following question: “Why is it, Your Holiness, that you have the keenest of interest in the latest advances in modern science, can ask the most penetrating questions about esoteric aspects of scientific theory and practice, and yet you maintain at the same time beliefs in such things as reincarnation and the existence of oracles who are spirits to be consulted in certain situations?”

The questioner sought assistance in understanding, what to him, was a blatant contradiction among conflicting worldviews and a sort of cognitive dissonance within a man whose powers of rational thought were known to be remarkably astute. The Dalai Lama's response, however, was not likely to solve the issue for the perplexed questioner. He answered, in effect, that there is no contradiction whatsoever in coupling a profound knowledge of and interest in modern scientific methods with belief in the continuation of consciousness beyond death or the existence of conscious beings invisible to the eye. In fact, he continued, the problem lies within the limitations that dogmatic scientific materialism can impose on one's imagination and, hence, on one's capacity for broader awareness of our actual and vast world. In the Dalai Lama's thinking, the apparent contra-

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