Informative but requires prior knowledge

Average: 3 (1 vote)

This book was created as a response to a Chinese publication about Sino-Tibetan relations entitled 100 Questions About Tibet. The answers (and the questions themselves) were quite obviously written in favor of the Chinese perspective of their territorial and cultural claims over the Tibetan state. The book itself consists of retorts from the perspective of Western scholars who study Tibetan history.
As a scholarly source I'm sure that it is valuable, but for me it was definitely not a page turner. One needs to have a good degree of background knowledge in Chinese, Central Asian, and Tibetan history to truly make sense of the author's arguments. For instance, on page 73, Sperling writes "When the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, Tibet was soon swept up in it. The ravages of the Cultural Revolution are sufficiently well known and there is no need to describe them in detail." For those with limited to no knowledge of the Cultural Revolution, the ensuing pages would not be particularly accessible.
I enjoyed that the book was broken up into small questions/sections, so that it could be used as reference material fairly quickly by an educator with a specific question about the Sino-Tibetan relationship.