By Melvyn C. Goldstein
It isn't attainable to completely comprehend modern politics among China and the Dalai Lama with no realizing what happened--and why--during the Fifties. In a booklet that maintains the tale of Tibet's historical past that he begun in his acclaimed A background of contemporary Tibet, 1913-1951: The dying of the Lamaist kingdom, Melvyn C. Goldstein severely revises our realizing of that key interval in midcentury. This authoritative account makes use of new archival fabric, together with by no means sooner than noticeable records, and wide interviews with Tibetans, together with the Dalai Lama, and with chinese language officers. Goldstein furnishes attention-grabbing and occasionally magnificent images of those significant avid gamers as he deftly unravels the fateful intertwining of Tibetan and chinese language politics opposed to the backdrop of the Korean conflict, the tenuous Sino-Soviet alliance, and American chilly warfare coverage.
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Extra info for A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955 (Philip E. Lilienthal Books)
Monks lost whatever rights they might otherwise have had on their family farm when they entered the monastery, so monks who left the monastery had to ﬁnd some new source of income. They also reverted to their original serf status when they left and were liable for service to their lord. By contrast, if they remained monks, their basic economic needs were met without their having to work too hard. All these factors made it both easier and more advantageous for monks to remain in the monastery. As mentioned above, the monastic leadership espoused the belief that since the Tibetan state was ﬁrst and foremost the supporter and patron of religion, the needs and interests of religion should take primacy.
The fee was typically money but sometimes also labor or goods, or even both. 15 In essence, therefore, virtually the entire Tibetan peasantry was hereditarily tied to estates/lords either directly or through “human lease” status. Monks and nuns, however, were partly an exception to this. 16 This was invariably granted, and so long as the person remained in the monastic order, he/she had no obligations to the estate/lord. 17 The authority of lords over their subjects also included the right to transfer them unilaterally to other individuals, both other lords and rich peasants, although this was not common in Tibet.
For another, the great large monasteries generally did not place severe restrictions on comportment or demand educational achievement. 25 Novices or monks were not required to pass any exams in order to remain in the monastery (although exams were required to attain higher statuses within the monastic ranks). Monks who had no interest in studying or meditating were as welcome as the virtuoso scholar monks. Even totally illiterate monks were accommodated, because, like the 24. I interviewed several hundred Drepung monks in Tibet as part of an oral history of the Drepung project.
A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955 (Philip E. Lilienthal Books) by Melvyn C. Goldstein