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Beyond Shangri-La: America and Tibet's Move Into the Twenty-First Century (American Encounters/Global Interactions)by John Kenneth Knaus
Synopses & Reviews
Beyond Shangri-La chronicles relations between the Tibetans and the United States since 1908, when a Dalai Lama first met with U.S. representatives. What was initially a distant alliance became more intimate and entangled in the late 1950s, when the Tibetan people launched an armed resistance movement against the Chinese occupiers. The Tibetans fought to oust the Chinese and to maintain the presence of the current Dalai Lama and his direction of their country. In 1958, John Kenneth Knaus volunteered to serve in a major CIA program to support the Tibetans. For the next seven years, as an operations officer working from India, from Colorado, and from Washington, D.C., he cooperated with the Tibetan rebels as they utilized American assistance to contest Chinese domination and to attain international recognition as an independent entity.
Since the late 1950s, the rugged resolve of the Dalai Lama and his people and the growing respect for their efforts to free their homeland from Chinese occupation have made Tibet's political and cultural status a pressing issue in international affairs. So has the realization by nations, including the United States, that their geopolitical interests would best be served by the defeat of the Chinese and the achievement of Tibetan self-determination. Beyond Shangri-La provides unique insight into the efforts of the U.S. government and committed U.S. citizens to support a free Tibet.
"Knaus (Orphans of the Cold War), currently affiliated with Harvard's Center for East Asian Research, looks at 'America's hesitant and intermittent recognition of human right of self-determination' from the Teddy Roosevelt administration to the present. Since 1947, the U.S. has never questioned China's sovereignty over Tibet, while also supporting the Tibetan resistance force from 1958 to 1974. Knaus, who as a CIA operations officer helped train Tibetan resistance fighters, explains that Washington focused on its relationship with China and discouraged a U.S. visit from the Dalai Lama in the early 1970s, but has focused more on Tibetan rights since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and the Dalai Lama's Nobel Peace Prize. Knaus effectively documents how Tibetans, led by Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama's younger brother, have successfully lobbied for greater visibility and influence. In his concluding chapters, Knaus examines Tibet's uncertain future after violent protests in 1987 and 2008, nine rounds of futile Tibetan-Chinese negotiations over Tibetan autonomy (from 2002 to 2012), and the Dalai Lama's turning over political leadership of his government-in-exile to Lobsang Sangay in 2011. Though the clearly partisan Knaus could have examined China's perspective in greater depth, overall, this is a well-documented study of the complex America-China-Tibet triangle. Photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In Beyond Shandri-La, a former CIA officer provides unique insight into the efforts of the U.S. government and committed U.S. citizens to support a free Tibet.
About the Author
John Kenneth Knaus has continued to support Tibet throughout his career. He is currently a Research Associate working on Tibetan affairs at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University. He is the author of Orphans of the Cold War: America and the Tibetan Struggle for Survival.
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