Tibet In Agony

by Jianglin Li


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Jianglin Li provides the first clear historical account of the Chinese crackdown in Lhasa in 1959. Sifting facts fromthe distortions of propaganda and partisan politics, she reconstructs a chronology of events that answers lingeringquestions and tells a gripping story of a crisis whose aftershocks continue to rattle the region today.The Chinese Communist government has twice invoked large-scale military might to crush popular uprisings in capitalcites. The second incident?the notorious massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989?is well known. The first, thirtyyears earlier in Tibet, remains little understood today. Yet in wages of destruction, bloodshed and trampling ofhuman rights, the tragic toll of March 1959 surpassed Tiananmen.Tibet in Agony provides the first clear historical account of the Chinese crackdown in Lhasa. Sifting facts from thedistortions of propaganda and partisan politics, Jianglin Li reconstructs a chronology of events that lays to restlingering questions about what happened in those fate-filled days and why. Her story begins with throngs of Tibetandemonstrators who?fearful that Chinese authorities were planning to abduct the Dalai Lama, their belovedleader?formed a protective ring around his palace. On the night of March 17, he fled in disguise, only to reemergein India weeks later to set up a government in exile. But no peaceful resolution awaited Tibet. The Chinese army soonbegan shelling Lhasa, inflicting thousands of casualties and ravaging heritage sites in the bombardment and theinfantry onslaught that followed. Unable to resist this show of force, the Tibetans capitulated, putting Mao Zedong ina position to fulfill his long-cherished dream of bringing Tibet under the Communist yoke.Li’s extensive investigation, including eyewitness interviews and examination of classified government records, tells agripping story of a crisis whose aftershocks continue to rattle the region today.

410
Harvard University Press
English
Non Fiction, Genre

About The Author

Jianglin Li is an independent scholar and writer who specializes in post-1950 Tibetan history and the Tibetan diaspora.


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