A peasant boy becomes a god-king then rediscovers his humanity as he flees his nation, and a people whose identity centers upon the Buddhist ideals of compassion and kindness take up arms against a brutal occupation army. In Escape from the Land of Snows
, Stephan Talty bears witness to these remarkable histories, cruel ironies and extreme polarities.
He traces the 14th Dalai Lama's extraordinary life from early childhood to his daring and frightening escape from the Chinese forces into India and along the way deftly establishes the history of Buddhism in Tibet, the background of the Khampa warriors, a brief history of the West's discovery of Tibet, the CIA's support of the Tibetan uprising, and many other pertinent and interesting facts. It is fascinating to learn how monks identified the sociable and precocious little Lhamo Thondup as the reincarnation of the 13th...
Beyond the Book
The Norbulingka and Potala Palaces
Until he was forced into exile in 1959, the Dalai Lama lived and studied in two magnificent palaces in Lhasa that housed the historical and religious treasures of his nation.
The buildings and gardens of the Norbulingka (the Summer Palace) cover over 89 acres and were at the heart of the 1959 uprising described in Talty's book. Thousands of Tibetans gathered there and risked their lives to protect the Dalai Lama from the PLA (People's Liberation Army) whom they feared would...