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I'd like to know more about this topic as people often discuss it with me. What is a good book for me to read to gain a better understanding of Tibetan history?

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The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia and Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa by Peter Hopkirk have large sections on Tibetan history during the 19th century. Younghusband's books may help you as well if you are looking for a primary source. –  Sardathrion Jan 3 '12 at 13:03
    
Thanks for that - will check them out. I'm hoping for a more overarching view, but they should provide some good reading as well. –  Ciaocibai Jan 4 '12 at 8:30
    
There maybe something more in the reference sections. The lack of overarching view is why it is a comment and not an answer. –  Sardathrion Jan 4 '12 at 9:10

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Using my elite Amazon search skills, I discovered Tibet: A History by Sam van Schaik, which looks like what you want.

Personally, I'm a fan of reading literature and/or biographies, as I find concrete stories give me a better handle on the more abstract cultural or political issues covered in a regular history. Sardathrion's books look interesting, as does Tibetan Diary by Geoff Childs.

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That looks pretty interesting - thanks a bunch. –  Ciaocibai Feb 1 '12 at 21:28

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