In this book, Powers examines works on Tibetan history by Tibetan and Chinese authors that have been produced in English for Western consumption. He finds some of their claims absurd, others highly implausible, some humorous in an unintended way. Both narratives are fraught with internal contradictions and inconsistencies - even the most ridiculous notions, Powers notes, are often reflected in works by contemporary Western academics. Powers's impartial examination of the competing narratives will help us to better understand the issues involved in debates about Tibetan history - why apparently arcane vestiges of the past are so important to both Tibetan and Chinese nationalist narratives.

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