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Goldstein Responds to Jamyang Norbu

July 30, 2008

Melvyn C. Goldstein
July 28, 2008

Last week and today, WTN published comments by Jamyang Norbu
regarding aspects of my 900 page book, A History of Modern Tibet,
1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State (U. of California Press,
1989).  Mr. Norbu is entitled to his views, but readers of WTN should
understand that what he was commenting on were not fair
representations of my views but rather distorted and misleading
caricatures.  Taking phrases and sentences out of context, he strives
very hard to twist and turn what I have written to demonstrate I have
a leftist agenda. That is rather bizarre because I actually have
conservative political views. His comments share much of the same
tactics we see in the current presidential campaign where each
candidate deliberately distorts the views of their opponent to make
it easier to attack them in their TV ads. It is always easier to
attack a strawman. Consequently, please do not try to understand
modern Tibetan history or my nuanced views of that history based on
Mr. Norbu's comments.

Read my book yourself and form your own opinion!!!

That book, I should add, was awarded Honorable Mention in 1989 in the
Association of Asian Studies' Joesph Levenson Prize competition.  The
Association's award committee wrote of it: "This monumental study is
a path-breaking contribution to our understanding of modern Tibet.
Melvyn Goldstein has marshaled an impressive array of documentary,
archival and interview sources to provide critical new insights into
the political and diplomatic history of Tibet during its independence
of Chinese domination. …"

I also suggest that subscribers to WTN who are interested in modern
Tibetan history read my new historical study, A History of Modern
Tibet, Volume 2, 1951-1955: The Calm Before the Storm (California,
2007). It explicates the complex responses on the Tibetan and Chinese
sides to the Seventeen-Point Agreement during the first five years of
Tibet's incorporation into the PRC. Further in the future, I am
currently working on a third volume which will be titled, A History
of Modern Tibet, 1955-59: In the Eye of the Storm.

Melvyn C. Goldstein, Ph.D.
John Reynolds Harkness Professor in Anthropology
Co-Director, Center for Research on Tibet,
Case Western Reserve University,
Cleveland, Ohio 441106

Note from WTN: Jayang Norbu, "BLACK ANNALS: Goldstein & The Negation
Of Tibetan History, Part I and II.
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