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Seven Years in Tibet (1952)

by Heinrich Harrer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,431354,511 (3.87)78
Recounts how the author, an Austrian, escaped from an English internment camp in India in 1943 and spent the next seven years in Tibet, observing its social practices, religion, politics, and people.

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English (31)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
An interesting account by a former Wehrmacht soldier of his stay in the 1940s in Tibet; certainly one of the few detailed accounts of life in Tibet just before the Chinese takeover. Generally sympathetic, though slightly condescending, to the Tibetans. Longtime readers of the National Geographic will recognize some of the material. This edition, alas, has no photographs, and the maps are poor. ( )
  EricCostello | Mar 9, 2021 |
"Seven Years in Tibet," by Heinrich Harrer is an interesting and inspirational read on several levels. First it is an autobiographical account of Harrer's life from his internment into a Indian British POW camp in 1939 and his subsequent escape until his return to India in March 1951. Harrer was an accomplished mountain climber, explorer, and world class athlete whose physical discipline and strength enabled him to suffer and endure considerable challenges during his long trek through Tibet. Then, after arriving in Lhasa completely destitute and worn out physically, managed to become a successful and useful member of Tibetan society. Like a Renaissance man, Harrer had many talents and he brought progressive developments to the near primitive technology of the Tibetans.
Harrer became the teacher and confidant of the young Dalai Lama. Through Harrer, we are able to follow the heart wrenching early life of this remarkable holy man.
The book is also a fascinating view of Tibetan culture during a time when the country was nearly completely cut off the rest of the world.
Because of the authors expertise in mountaineering, his descriptions of the magnificent beauty of the Tibetan country are fully detailed and alone worth reading the book.
The author describes Lhasa- " Behind these cloister walls the hands of time's clock seemed to have been put back a thousand years." Thanks to him, we too can glimpse this strange and distant place.
  RonWelton | Dec 17, 2020 |
I read half of this in 2002(ish?). I may read the rest next week.
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet and encounter the Dalai Lama.
  PSZC | Mar 24, 2019 |
Fascinating book, not lest because there is so little information about Tibet before the Chinese invaded. This is a record of a life that doesn't exist any more. Be aware that the Dalai Lama is only a small part of the book. Most of it is about the writer's efforts to reach Lhassa in the days when foreigners were forbidden to enter Tibet at all. It's a strange land of kind individuals and heavy bureaucracy. It's also about surviving a very hostile environment with severe winters, and the lure of the mountains to an experienced climber.
It's about the skills that a Westerner can bring to a feudal culture, but also about the things that he can learn from that culture.
Also a heart-breaking awareness of the need for political allies in a world of military powers. Tibet's isolationism meant that it had no one to call on for help when the Chinese invaded, and the results of that invasion were of tragic proportions, both to Tibet's people and her culture.
Definitely worth reading. ( )
  JudithProctor | Jul 12, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harrer, HeinrichAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Černík, ArnoštTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dalai Lama XIVForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daussy, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleming, PeterPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gentilli, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, InkeriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hensch, AladárTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lukácsi, MargitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monteiro, João MagalhãesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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By the end of August 1939 we had completed our reconnaissance.
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Recounts how the author, an Austrian, escaped from an English internment camp in India in 1943 and spent the next seven years in Tibet, observing its social practices, religion, politics, and people.

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