Passingly few academic books, I suspect, open with Bill Murray, Kyle MacLachlan, and Antonin Artaud—two actors famous for their oddball characters and one theorist of acting (was Artaud ever not acting?) famous for calling out the oddities of lived experience through his “theater of cruelty”—and their respective characters’ praise of Tibet, Tibetans, and Tibetan Buddhism. Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West cites these authorities to announce its overarching theme, its topics, its types of sources, its sense of playfulness, and its utter seriousness about the impact of popular culture on scholarship about Tibet in the twentieth century. At once a magical mystery tour through the eccentric, exotic corners of twentieth-century culture (the chapters) and an abiding reference work for the history of perceptions of Tibet in the West (the footnotes), Prisoners of Shangri-la, more than any other book (save perhaps Donald S. Lopez Jr.'s edited volume of...
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Book Review| August 01 2020
Prisoners of Shangri-la: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, with a new preface
Prisoners of Shangri-la: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, with a new preface. By Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Chicago University Press,
2018. 283 pp. ISBN: 9780226485485 (paper).
Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Kurtis R. Schaeffer
University of Virginia
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Journal of Asian Studies (2020) 79 (3): 764–767.
Kurtis R. Schaeffer; Prisoners of Shangri-la: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, with a new preface. Journal of Asian Studies 1 August 2020; 79 (3): 764–767. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911820001382
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