In the Service of His Country tells the story of a remarkable individual who rose from humble origins as the son of a farmer to become one of the outstanding figures in the social and political life of Tibet prior to the Chinese takeover in the 1950s. Dasang Damdul Tsarong (1888–1959), noted as a child for his unusual intelligence and capability, entered the personal service of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of twelve. After distinguishing himself in military service, he was promoted to a high rank in the Tibetan government, married into an aristocratic family, and soon became commander-in-chief of the Tibetan army and one of Lhasa's leading citizens. Tsarong was a dynamic and sometimes controversial figure, a voice for the modernization of Tibet's government, especially in its relationship to the international community. This book provides insight into the history and causes of the tragic loss of Tibet's power of self-government. Included are forty photographs taken in Tibet at this critical time, many by D. D. Tsarong himself.
"One of the best books for introducing students and general readers to modern Tibetan history before the cultural revolution."—Journal of Asian Studies
"This book will be particularly interesting to young Tibetans who are in the process of trying to understand who, why, and how Tibet was lost to the Chinese communists. In the Service of His Country provokes us to take a broader perspective of the modern history of Tibet."—Tibet Journal