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His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World
Reviewed by The Editors on Sept. 1, 2008
Who better than Robert Thurman to communicate the Dalai Lama’s significance and vision for an autonomous Tibet? Noted by the New York Times as “the Dalai Lama’s man in America,” Thurman fervently believes that China can evolve as a leader of human rights and create a global shift if enough people believe and band together to create the change. In his new book, Thurman, a Columbia University professor of religion and the first American ordained as a Tibetan monk, addresses the political, religious, ecological, and social factors at play, examining the history of Tibet, the significance of the China-Tibet relationship for the global community, and the Dalai Lama’s five-point plan for an autonomous Tibet. Thurman grounds the possibility of a transformed China and Tibet in the historic precedents set by South Africa’s end to apartheid, the Soviet Union’s dissolution, and Germany’s dismantling of the Berlin Wall. “It is not impossible that China, the waking giant . . . will turn its great strength toward healing the overheated planet,” he insists. Why the Dalai Lama Matters is a call to action that both inspires us to believe in a beautiful world and tells us how we can each participate in the changes we dare to dream of. Certainly Thurman’s call is a timely one, given this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.