Frontier Tibet, edited by Stéphane Gros, is composed of fourteen chapters organized into three major thematic parts: “Borders Inside Out,” “Modes of Expansion and Forms of Control,” and “Strategic Belongings.” This collection of essays strikes me for its “thickness” in terms of its comprehensive content, heuristic novelty, longitudinal lens (mostly nineteenth to twenty-first century), and interdisciplinary cross-fertilization (mostly between history and anthropology). Largely for that reason, I see this volume as both an encyclopedic handbook and an original monograph on Kham and Sino-Tibetan borderlands, or even as a critical scholarly guidebook for borderlands studies writ large.

Importantly, this book's focus on the frontier echoes an ongoing academic wave or turn since the first decade of the twenty-first century, when frontiers, borders, and “margins” started to attract increasing attention in anthropology, history, and other disciplines. In that sense, this book is not merely about Kham or Sino-Tibetan borderlands; instead, it...

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