Below is Melvyn C. Goldstein's response to Jamyang Norbu's "BLACK ANNALS: Goldstein & The Negation Of Tibetan History, Part I and II. This was sent to WTN by 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