Anthropology’s Melvyn Goldstein publishes new book on Tibetan uprising

Dalai Lama and Professor Goldstein
The Dalai Lama (left) and Professor Goldstein

Melvyn C. Goldstein, the John Reynolds Professor of Anthropology and co-director of the Center for Research on Tibet, published A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 3, 1955-1957: The Storm Clouds Descend” (University of California Press).

This third volume in Goldstein’s award-winning series on the history of modern Tibet examines the critical years of 1955 through 1957.

During this period, a major Tibetan uprising occurred in Sichuan Province. Jenkhentsisum, a Tibetan anti-communist émigré group, emerged as an important player with secret links to Indian Intelligence, the Dalai Lama’s Lord Chamberlain, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. In Tibet, a major dispute occurred in 1956-57 within the Chinese Communist Party that Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping directly intervened to settle.

The book draws on never-before-seen Chinese government documents, published and unpublished memoirs and diaries, and invaluable in-depth interviews with important Chinese and Tibetan participants—including the Dalai Lama—to offer a new level of insight into the events and principal players of the time. The book corrects factual errors and misleading stereotypes in the history and uncovers information on the period to reveal a nuanced portrait of Sino-Tibetan relations that goes far beyond anything previously imagined.