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Extended Audio Sample Escape from the Land of Snows: The Young Dalai Lamas Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero, by Stephan Talty Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (113 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephan Talty Narrator: Shishir Kurup Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On the evening of March 17, 1959, as the people of Tibet braced for a violent power grab by Chinese occupiers-one that would forever wipe out any vestige of national sovereignty-the 24-year-old Dalai Lama, Tibet's political and spiritual leader, contemplated the impossible. The task before him was immense: to slip past a cordon of crack Chinese troops ringing his summer palace and, with an escort of 300, journey across the highest terrain in the world and over treacherous Himalayan passes to freedom-one step ahead of pursuing Chinese soldiers.

Mao Zedung, China's ruthless Communist dictator, had pinned his hopes for total Tibetan submission on controlling the impressionable Dalai Lama. So beloved was the young ruler-so identified with his country's essence-that for him to escape might mean perpetual resistance from a population unwilling to tolerate an increasingly brutal occupation. The Dalai Lama's minders sent word to the Tibetan rebels and CIA-trained guerrillas who waited on the route: His Holiness must escape-at all costs.

In many ways, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was unprepared for the epic journey awaiting him. Twenty-two years earlier, government search parties, guided by prophecies and omens, had arrived at the boy's humble peasant home and subjected the two-year-old to a series of tests. After being declared the reincarnation of Tibet's previous ruler, the boy was brought to Lhasa to learn the secrets of Buddhism and the ways of ultimate power. Forced in the ensuing two decades to cope with aching loneliness and often stifling ritual-and compelled to suppress his mischievous personality-Gyatso eventually proved himself a capable leader. But no previous Dalai Lama had ever taken on a million Communist Chinese soldiers bent on stamping out Tibetan freedom.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/5/2014

    " 3 1/2 Parts were very good. Made me want to learn more about Tibet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrea | 2/3/2014

    " I didn't care for how much it jumped around - made it hard to follow at times. But, what a fascinating story. It's a topic I didn't know much about, and am grateful to know more now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Anastasia | 1/10/2014

    " Pretty good, but I was reading a lot of non-fiction and hit a wall with this book. I had to take a break and that cut the momentum and thus the readability of the book. In retrospect, I might have rather read one of the Dalai Lama's own biographies. Nonetheless, this was interesting and I learned a lot. I have even greater respect now for the Dalai Lama. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dave | 1/1/2014

    " Beautifully written and very moving. No matter what your religious beliefs, this is a fascinating true story of the Dalai Lama's escape on foot from communist China's occupation of Tibet back in 1959. It's difficult to fathom such an expedition through the Himalayas. Very tragic! "

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