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Bhutan: Mountain Fortress of the Gods
by Christian Schicklgruber (Editor and Author), Francoise Pommaret (Editor and Author), Christian Schicklgruber (Author)
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With a forward written by the King of Bhutan himself, this major collection provides authoritative accounts and stunning photographs of one of the least-known corners of the earth. The volume appeared in conjunction with an exhibit of Bhutanese artifacts, mounted by Vienna's Museum for Folk Culture. Accordingly, it includes a large number of detailed, high-quality photographs of objects - artistic and practical - as well as of people and scenery. Although both book and photographs primarily treat the traditional culture, a final section discusses contemporary Bhutan. One of the two chapters in this section is a really outstanding account of Bhutanese women today; it provides profiles of both well-to-do and impoverished women. The other three sections, by various Bhutanese and European authorities, cover scenery and biology, landscapes and agriculture, architecture, ethnography, arts and crafts, religion (Buddhism), and history. Particularly thorough and interesting are studies of traditional buildings and of a small village in its environment. As a coffee-table book with an official forward, this work emphasizes the positive, but it still manages to be honest, evenhanded, and intellectually strong. - E. N. Anderson, Choice, Vol. 35, No. 7, March 1998
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