The subject of this book is a first-person account, from the field, of current conditions in an isolated, rarely described region of Tibet, with emphasis on a description of the day-to-day reality of the interaction between the native Tibetans and the current holders of power, the Chinese. The region discussed is western Sichuan and eastern Tibet, both of whichare permeated with Tibetan culture, yet historically the site of continual and intense conflict between the Tibetans and the Chinese. This book is important because it fills a gap; almost all writing about Tibet today concerns the area around its capital, Lhasa, an area where the Chinese can usually control the experiences and contacts between Tibetans and foreigners. This book shows the painful reality in a haunting and beautiful landscape far off the beaten track. Because the author walked overthree months and 1200 km there, along one of the traditional pilgrim routes, the descriptions of life in the tents of the nomads and in the barracks of the Chinese are poignantly realistic. Readers can feel assured about the uniqueness of the book's contents because the author is fluent in Chinese and has performed extensive background research about the history of the area; descriptions of today's isolated Tibetan regions are thus put in the perspective of earlier travellers in Tibet, such as Heinrich Harrer and Alexandra David-Neel. Since the days of David-Neel's travels in the area over fifty years ago, no Westernere has walked so far and so long through eastern Tibetan regions. By travelling on foot, the author was forced to experience the reality of the Tibetans ontheir own terms. "Road News from Tibet" then, can be highly informative for both the academic reader and the armchair traveller.
Chengdu: The Centre is the Edge.- Chengdu to Kangding: The First Pass.- Kangding to Garze: The Valleys of Resistance.- Garze to Dege: Propositions.- Dege to Jomda: Beyond the Yangtze.- Jomda to Chamdo: Ancient Hot Springs.- Chamdo to Riwoqe: "We know where we are, but not where we're going.".- Riwoqe to Dengqen: "Do you want to buy my Buddha?".- Dengqen to Sendo: Caterpillar Economy.- Sendo to Baqen: "In the middle of the Nowhere.".- Baqen to Nagchu: Science City.- Lhasa: The Edge is the Centre.- Selected Bibliography.