The open road: the global journey of the fourteenth Dalai Lama - Iyer, Pico
Summary: An illuminating account of the Dalai Lama explores his diverse roles as a politician, scientist, philosopher, and religious leader; discusses his ideas about religion, Tibet, peace, and world events; and examines his hidden life, often pragmatic messages, and the daily challenges he confronts. - (Baker & Taylor)
*Starred Review* A mindful world wanderer and renowned travel writer, Iyer has a 30-year connection to the Dalai Lama stemming from a meeting between Iyer's philosopher father and the Dalai Lama shortly after his dramatic escape from Tibet in the wake of the Chinese invasion. Iyer has often arranged to be in the same place at the same time as the Dalai Lama, and he now reports on the beloved "spiritual celebrity" in action. His coverage includes vivid descriptions of the highly charged atmosphere of Dharamsala, the capital of Tibet-in-exile; surreal aspects of the Dalai Lama's ecstatic reception at his numerous appearances; and the profoundly mysterious elements of the Dalai Lama's "private and almost unimaginable Tibetan world," the realm of oracles and reincarnation. In the book's most inquisitive passages, Iyer offers rare insights into contradictory roles the Dalai Lama plays as a monk with a passion for science; a philosophic, exiled leader of an occupied nation that is threatened with extinction; and an icon espousing "global ethics." The combination of Iyer's exacting observations, incisive analysis, and frank respect for the unknowable results in a uniquely internalized, even empathic portrait of one of the world's most embraced and least understood guiding lights. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.