"The most mysterious-and mythologized-nation on earth gets the assessment it deserves in this gripping, often heart-wrenching book by the English historian Patrick French. Having fallen in love with Tibet as a teenager and spent years agitating for its independence, French traveled to the country in 1999, braving expulsion or arrest to meet with nomads, Buddhist nuns, exiles, and collaborators with the Chinese occupying authorities. Tibet, Tibet is a learned, intimate portrait of a nation that pursued military dominance alongside spiritual enlightenment, and whose exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, combines selflessness and charisma, wisdom and naivete. French weighs the devastating effects of a half-century of Chinese rule and the ambiguous bargain Tibet-in-exile has made with the spiritually famished West. The result is a marvelous synthesis of history, travel writing, and memoir."