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Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from All Sides of the Tibetan Debate (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Annelie Rozeboom

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3717306,014 (3.21)6
Member:sandragon
Title:Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from All Sides of the Tibetan Debate
Authors:Annelie Rozeboom
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Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:non-fiction, Dutch, 2012, Early Reviewers

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Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from all Sides of the Tibetan Debate by Annelie Rozeboom (2011)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
During her 10 years in China, as a foreign correspondant for a Dutch paper, Annelie Rozeboom had a chance to meet and interview Tibetans (some living in Tibet, some living out), Chinese and Westerners about Tibet. In this book she has collected their views and experiences of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and of the 60 or so years following. Along with the interviews that Rozeboom relates to us, she tells us a little of the history, beliefs, and traditions of the Tibetans before the invasion, and how the Tibetan way of life has changed since.

Rozeboom subtitles this book 'Stories from all sides of the Tibetan debate', as if to give all stories equal consideration, but Rozeboom shows bias for Tibetans-in-exile and an independant Tibet. Most of the interviews are with Tibetans and while some of them have prospered in Tibet since the Chinese took over, she is quick to point out that Tibetans still living in Tibet are afraid of reprisals for speaking out against China and for an independant Tibet. She warns that it is better to speak to Tibetans-in-exile who are not being censored. There are also several articles quoted in the book, but all the Chinese sources show China as Tibet's benefactress and Rozeboom seems to be countering these using articles from Tibetan sources with opposing views. And while there is mention of Chinese supporters of Tibet independance, there are no interviews with these Chinese.

Another difficulty I found was with the vague dating of various events, interviews and articles referred to. It became hard to decipher when events occurred in relation to each other, or what period of time an interviewee was referring to.

Still, the stories passed on to us are intriguing. Often, what I hear about Tibet is only about how China has oppressed the Tibetans. This is the first I've read about Tibetans prospering in Tibet, and about their successes in helping other Tibetans and in trying to keep their culture from disappearing completely. Rozeboom's book shows us how complex the problems are between China and Tibet, complicated by very different, though not necessarily opposing, world views. The interviews, and the book itself, are brief and tantalizing, and left me with a wish to find out more about Tibet and its people. ( )
  sandragon | Dec 19, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm interested in Tibet yet can't seem to drag myself through this book. I want to like it. Perhaps the time is just not right for me. I've had plenty of books pass through my life more than once before we finally click with one another. I will keep it on my shelf and pick it up now and then to see if the time has hit yet.
  namaste22 | Aug 2, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I will admit that this is the first book I have read on the Tibet/China situation. I have read much by the Dalai Lama himself.

I was not sure what to expect from this book. I found it at times hard to follow the interviews and I had to read several of them twice. ( )
  AzureMountain | Feb 18, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Tibet situation is quite complicated. Reading the interviews in this book, it becomes clear that no one really has the story completely straight. Misinformation abounds on both sides, from all governments. In the West, the situation in Tibet is often looked at in black and white, but this book proves to be much more nuanced.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to get a bigger picture of the Tibetan people's situation both inside Tibet and out. ( )
  sduff222 | Feb 7, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A good book, and a must for anyone interested in Tibet-China tensions.

I recently travelled to eastern Tibet (Kham, now referred to as Western Sichuan by the Chinese), and so I was eager to get a more balanced view of just what ordinary people thought about the whole situation. It's obviously too sensitive a question to raise when you're there, so a book that tries to do that on your behalf is welcome. I learned a lot from this book. I frequently found myself surprised by the comments made by some of the interviewees. And, for that, it was eye opening and useful.

Still, I sensed something missing. Perhaps I was hoping for more of an assessment of what all the stories mean which, I know, is something which the author explicitly tries not to do (we have enough of that elsewhere).

But I would recommend this to those interested in Tibet and Chinese politics. ( )
  ikenney | Jan 11, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
If you are interested in the situation in Tibet, the book serves as a great compendium of opinions and references.
 
Will anyone else in Asia publish a more forthright and revealing book this year? Unlike most questions about Tibet, this one has an obvious answer – almost certainly not.
 
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Why does the issue of Tibet rouse such passions on both sides? And is there any way to find common ground?

Chinese-speaking journalist Annelie Rozeboom worked as a foreign correspondent in China for ten years. During that time she was able to interview numerous Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, as well as Chinese residents, Western observers and the Dalai Lama himself. As these people explain their life stories, it becomes clear to the reader why they think the way they do. The book also shows how history washed over this remote kingdom and how the Tibetans and the Chinese came to take such opposing positions.

Waiting for the Dalai Lama is a uniquely valuable book which approaches the emotive issue of Tibet from all angles.
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Blacksmith Books

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