Skip to navigation – Site map
Book Reviews

Melvyn C. Goldstein, Dawei Sherap, and William R. Siebenschuh, A Tibetan Revolutionary. The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye

Berkeley, University of California Press, 2004, 371 p.
Fabienne Jagou

Editor's notes

Translated from the French original by Philip Liddell

Full text

1This autographical account by Phüntso Wangye, the first Tibetan communist and founder of the Tibetan Communist Party (1939) before it merged with the Chinese Communist Party (1949), is a significant contribution towards understanding Sino-Tibetan relations during the first half of the twentieth century. The book reveals the intellectual journey of a Tibetan, a witness to the seizure of power by the Chinese nationalists and to the various attempts by his region (‘Ba’ thang) and by his province (Khams) to win independence. As a devoted reader of Lenin and Stalin, he goes on to give his practical experience of communism by outlining the stages—as seen from “inside”—of Tibet’s unification with China in the 1950s and its problems with members of the Chinese Communist Party. He ends with his years in prison and his rehabilitation.

2Today, Phünwang is still faithful to his socialist ideals and convinced that the thinking of Lenin and Stalin may benefit the development of Tibetan society.

3His account of a rare personal experience, based exclusively on Phünwang’s memoirs and edited in the first person, parallels Tsering Shakya’s book1 covering the same events on the basis of written sources.

Top of page

Notes

1 The Dragon in the Land of Snows : A History of Modern Tibet since 1947, New York, Columbia University Press, 1999.
Top of page

References

Electronic reference

Fabienne Jagou, « Melvyn C. Goldstein, Dawei Sherap, and William R. Siebenschuh, A Tibetan Revolutionary. The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye », China Perspectives [Online], 58 | march - april 2005, Online since 29 November 2006, connection on 23 July 2017. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/475

Top of page

About the author

Fabienne Jagou

By this author

Top of page

Copyright

© All rights reserved

Top of page
  • Logo CEFC – Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine
  • Revues.org