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Lost Lhasa: Heinrich Harrer's Tibet [Paperback]

Heinrich Harrer , Galen Rowell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1998
Lost Lhasa is the visual sequel to mountaineer/adventurer Heinrich Harrer's great travel and adventure classic Sevin Years in Tibet, which has sold more than three million copies since its publication in 1953. Its 200 extraordinary photographs provide a unique record of life in and around Tibet's capital city of Lhasa as it will never be seen again, when Tibetan society was still innocent of other 20th-century cultures.

During his seven years in Lhasa, the Austrian-born Harrer became a government official and tutor to the young Dalai Lama. Between 1944 and 1950, when the Chinese occupation of Tibet forced him to flee, he took thousands of photographs that give us a last glimpse of Buddhist ceremonies, family celebrations, athletic contests, and the sad flight of Harrer's avid pupil, the 18-year-old Dalai Lama.

Mountaineer/photographer Galen Rowell sets Harrer's achievements in perspective and helps make this book, in Harrer's words, "the culmination of my half century of involvement with Tibet".

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; New edition edition (1 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810927896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810927896
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 22.9 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,225,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Heinrich Harrer was born in 1912 in Carinthia. His skiing prowess won him a place in the 1936 Austrian Olympic team. He was in the party which first ascended the notorious North Wall of the Eiger in 1938, and he is the author of the classic climbing book The White Spider - a full history of the attempts to make that terrible climb.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book & great service delivery 24 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thankyou for helping me get this rare book which is out of print now. A huge thanks to and the supplier who helped get this across to me in India. I will always treasure the book and this experience...

Warm Regards

Lakshmi Bhatia
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The top of the world in pictures 23 Nov 2003
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on
Most of LOST LHASA documents the peaceful years that Heinrich Harrer spent in Tibet. The map of Tibet and its border with northern India is shown inside the front cover, with a line marking Harrer's route from Dehra Dun near the Ganges River in India, up into the Himalayas far northwest of Mt. Everest. After escaping from a prison camp in April, 1944, and climbing for 18 days to Tibet, then stuck in Traduen until December, 1944 while they waited for permission to travel further, they waited in Kyirong on the border of Nepal until November, 1945, when they escaped again. "To avoid large cities, we decided to move even farther north, into the Changthang region--the famous Tibetan Plateau. Here we would see only nomads and brigands; government officials avoided the area." (p. 43). Walking into Lhasa like starving beggars on January 15, 1946, "We thought of our adventures and of our comrades still in the internment camp at Dehra Dun." (p. 47).
Heinrich Harrer is famous, now, as the author of the best-selling book, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, which told the same story. LOST LHASA was not published until 1991, when the 2000 negatives which he had kept became the best reminder he had of the years he had enjoyed most. There is a lot of writing in this book to tell the entire story again, and in places where there aren't many pictures, the people are still fascinating. A young couple, who had given Peter Aufschnaiter and Harrer each a dried apricot on a 20,000-foot pass two months before, had much to complain about after they reached Lhasa. "They were surprised that they had to work for daily necessities, even if it was only a place to spend the night or a cup of tea. They felt that people in Lhasa were greedy, demanding things that in the Changthang you wouldn't think about. . . . We invited them to our modest home, where we had lots of barley, rice, and butter, and we supplied them for their return to the Changthang, their nomadic home, where they had plenty of meat, butter, cheese, milk, and where nature would provide for all their needs." (p. 65).
Picture captions are jumbled together. The caption under the picture on page 116 explains "Noblemen and women . . ." with everyone in winter clothes "in front of the Kumbum monument in Gyangtse [above]. The girl [right] sits behind three fancy teacups, complete with stands and cover." also explains the picture of a young child on page 117 with very short hair and a necklace of beads sitting behind a table with four teacups. My first clue that it was a picture of a girl was the covers on the teacups. The 7-inch-square picture on page 116 shows plain cups and saucers. I did not realize that four teacups with stands and covers were on the table in front of the kid until I tried to measure the height of each cup to see if they were taller than the kid's head in the picture. Allowing for perspective, it might be possible for a knob on top of the fourth teacup to be mistaken for an earring, just below one of the kid's ears, but the earring pictures are elsewhere in this book.
Several trips to Lhasa are described in this book, including "When I returned in 1982, I found that the Chinese had destroyed the medical school that perched atop Chagpori and replaced it with a radio tower." (p. 208). A Glossary on pages 218-219 explains terms like Dob-Dob (monk-police) and Tsampa (parched barley flour, the Tibetan's staple food). Notes on the pictures on page 220 identify two of the people in the picture on page 116 and explain that the picture following it is of the daughter of Surkhang Wangchuk, the governor of Gyangste. Harrer had fled Lhasa and was staying with the governor of Gyangste when the Dalai Lama with a caravan that contained more than a thousand animals came through on the flight from Tibet to the Chumbi Valley. Harrer left there in March, 1951. "Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa to find posters of Mao plastered against the walls of the Potala." (p. 207). Among the brighter aspects of the nostalgia in this book is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Dalai Lama in 1989 because he "opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect, in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people." (pp. 216-217). This book is a monument to that tradition.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, informative book 1 Feb 1998
By "ramonam" - Published on
What a lovely book! Engrossing illustration of a way of life destroyed by the Chinese conquerors. I love reading Buddhist writings, but I think this would appeal even to those who are not interested in Buddhism, as Harrer seems to be not particularly religious and he concentrates on the everyday life of Tibetans in Lhasa.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Ago and Far Away 31 Oct 2010
By Mantisman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all the books written by a Tibetan Monk, T. Lobsang Rampa, who was educated at the Tibetan medical school he called Chakpori. I have for years longed to see a picture of Chakpori before the Chinese destroyed it. Here, in this book, is such a picture and for that reason alone, for me, the book is worth the price. All other pictures and descriptions of Tibetan life prior to the invasion are 'sad' reminders that even the most isolated and peaceful countries are not immune to human greed, crippled dogmas and power madness. When, O Lord.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of photos 15 Dec 2013
By Bish Denham - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This collection of photos of Llasa, Tibet, taken by Heinrich Harrer puts the reader into the lives of Tibetans during the late 1940s early 1950s. It is a nice companion to Herrer's book, Seven Years in Tibet.
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