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

Stephan Talty, Crown, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-307-46095-0
Drawing from written eyewitness accounts and interviews with survivors, Talty (The Illustrious Dead) describes the events in 1959 that irrevocably altered the future of Tibet. He skillfully moves between protests in Lhasa and the Dalai Lama's escape toward the border, tracing stories of the many people involved. Adding complexity to this narrative are details about CIA support of Tibetans fighting against the Chinese regime, the U.S. role in securing permission for the Dalai Lama's entry into India, and the worldwide media frenzy that shaped the public's perceptions of Tibet. Witness reports include those of the Dalai Lama's mother and brothers, rebels and refugees, members of the CIA's Tibetan Task Force, and former prisoners of the Chinese. From these multiple voices the author has woven a vivid picture of a dangerous journey and a country in crisis. The accompanying analysis provides context for the intricate events that changed the young leader into a "movable Tibet," and an isolated mountain society into an international cause and "a place of the mind." (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
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