Freedom in Exile is the second autobiography of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso. First published in 1990, in this 320-page book, his holiness the Dalai Lama begins with describing his childhood experiences and stories of being chosen as the 14th Dalai Lama. Along with his personal life, experiences, and teachings, this book details some of the significant events and facts of the 20th Century. That covers the invasion of Tibet by China in the 1950s. Which eventually led him to flee his own country and seeking political asylum in India. Before you read the book, it will be good if you can get an introduction to the life of Dalai Lama. A bit of background first will help you to get a head start. That will make it easy to understand the sequence of events described in the book.
About the Dalai Lama XIV and Freedom in Exile
The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor 13th Dalai Lama. He is regarded as the highest authority of the Tibetan Government and the Spiritual guru. He wrote his first autobiography My Land and My People in 1962, which is recognized as the original biography. Freedom in Exile is his second autobiography published in 1990 that includes events since the first part. Author termed both of the biographies as authentic. Dalai Lama currently resides in a small town in India, Dharamshala. From there he ran the Tibetan government office until 2011 when he retired from his official duties.
He still continues to work on spreading the message of peace and compassion to the world. In 1989, Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This book was published in 1990 after he was awarded the Nobel peace prize.
In this book, he shared his journey and story of his life which is pretty fascinating to read. The name of the book, Freedom in Exile, he says refers to the freedom that India offers to him. There are many books on Indian History, like India after Gandhi By Ramachandra Guha, which discuss the political ties between India and Tibet (Dalai Lama) during that decade and personality of Dalai Lama. The writing style is just fine, not too simple. The book mentions the names of many important people and places of Tibetan and Chinese origin. For me, those names were a little difficult to retain while reading the book. So sometimes, I lost the track of places and people. But overall, that turned out to be fine because you still get the story even if you don’t pay much attention to the details.
What is there to learn from this book
Though it depends upon the perspective of the reader to find out the lessons from a book. But this book definitely has the potential to teach you some excellent lessons. Especially when it comes to understanding history and politics in the decades when the political structure of many nations was getting shuffled. The book teaches you the lessons on compassion, religion, politics, peace and much more. Additionally, it widens your point of view about the Asian countries as they are much more than what appears on the surface.
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Recommendation on Freedom in Exile
Not everyone might like this book. But if you are interested in history, his holiness the Dalai Lama 14th, China, Tibet or world politics. This book will definitely interest you. I rate this book 4 stars because of the impact it made on my life. I could have rated it 4.5 stars. But I reduced the rating to 4 stars because of the writing style.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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