Join our Mailing List

"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Book Release: On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet

November 30, 2008

Melvyn C. Goldstein, Ben Jiao, and Tanzen Lhundrup
University of California
The Nyemo Incident of 1969
$24.95, £14.95 hardcover
Available Now
264 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 6 b/w photographs, 3 maps
January 2009, Available worldwide
Categories: History; Cultural Anthropology; Tibet; Buddhism

"This brave manuscript is the first in any language to look at the
Cultural Revolution in Tibet. The material is refreshingly new,
coming from the authors' extensive interviews and oral histories
collected in recent years. This is extremely valuable, as Tibet is
not always accessible to western writers. It is indeed remarkable
that the authors have been able to solicit views from both sides of
the factional struggle, so that we have now a clear contour of the
tragic 1969 Nyemo Incident. This contribution cannot be overstated."
-- Uradyn E. Bulag, author of The Mongolia-Tibet Interface: Opening
New Research Terrains in Inner Asia

"This is an important, accessible, and riveting description of a
controversial and significant episode in modern Tibet history that
scholars have not previously been able to access."—Robbie Barnett,
Director of Modern Tibetan Studies, Colombia University

Among the conflicts to break out during the Cultural Revolution in
Tibet, the most famous took place in the summer of 1969 in Nyemo, a
county to the south and west of Lhasa. In this incident, hundreds of
villagers formed a mob led by a young nun who was said to be
possessed by a deity associated with the famous warrior-king Gesar.
In their rampage the mob attacked, mutilated, and killed county
officials and local villagers as well as People's Liberation Army
troops. This groundbreaking book, the first on the Cultural
Revolution in Tibet, revisits the Nyemo incident, which has long been
romanticized as the epitome of Tibetan nationalist resistance against
China. Melvyn C. Goldstein, Ben Jiao, and Tanzen Lhundrup demonstrate
that far from being a spontaneous battle for independence, this
violent event was actually part of a struggle between rival
revolutionary groups and was not ethnically based. On the Cultural
Revolution in Tibet proffers a sober assessment of human malleability
and challenges the tendency to view every sign of unrest in Tibet in
ethno-nationalist terms.

List of Illustrations
Explanation of Romanization, Brackets, and Abbreviations

1. The Cultural Revolution in Tibet
2. Gyenlo and Nyamdre in Nyemo County
3. Gyenlo on the Attack
4. Destroying the Demons and Ghosts
5. The Attacks on Bagor District and Nyemo County
6. The Capture of the Nun
7. Conclusions
8. Epilogue

Appendix 1. The Nun's Manifesto
Appendix 2. Leaflet Publishing the Text of a Speech Criticizing the
Regional Party Committee
Appendix 3. The Truth about the Struggle to Seize the Power of the
Tibet Daily Newspaper Office

About The Authors:
Melvyn C. Goldstein is John Reynolds Harkness Professor of
Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. Ben Jiao is Deputy
Director of the Contemporary Tibetan Research Institute at the Tibet
Academy of Social Sciences, Lhasa. Tanzen Lhundrup is Deputy Director
of the Social and Economic Institute at the Beijing Tibetology Center, Beijing.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank