Posts Tagged ‘Tibet’

Press Release: Secret Lives of the Dalai Lama by Alexander Norman

February 11th, 2010

The Complete Story of the Dalai Lamas—Essential Reading for Anyone Seeking to Understand Tibetan Buddhism and the History of Tibet



The Untold Story of the Holy Men Who Shaped Tibet, from Pre-history to the Present Day 

By Alexander Norman

 “I commend this book to anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan history and culture.”

?His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

 “Alexander Norman’s Secret Lives of the Dalai Lama is a carefully researched overview that provides the modern reader a most insightful description of Tibetan history and culture. Scrupulously fair in its treatment of the subject, the book is written in an engaging and accessible style. Perhaps, its greatest merit is that it offers a new and a rich way to appreciate the life and work of the present Dalai Lama who has come to be a major force in today’s deeply global world.”

?Thupten Jinpa, PhD, Tibetan scholar and the principal translator to the Dalai Lama


His Holiness the Dalai Lama is known around the world for his efforts to preserve Tibetan culture and for his popular spiritual teachings. Often unnoticed, however, is the context from which this most beloved of holy men has emerged. In SECRET LIVES OF THE DALAI LAMA: The Untold Story of the Holy Men Who Shaped Tibet, from Pre-history to the Present Day (Doubleday Religion; On Sale: February 16, 2010; Trade Paperback Original; $15.00), author Alexander Norman tells this story in full for the first time, from Tibetan Buddhism’s foundational narratives to the present-day crisis faced by Tibet.

Serving as spiritual and temporal leader of his people, the Dalai Lama’s position has continuously been surrounded by struggles for power, both internal and external, many of which have been surprisingly violent. And while Western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism focus on its metaphysical insights regarding detachment and enlightenment, Tibetan Buddhism also contains a strong traditional element emphasizing a pantheon of deities and demons, prophecy and magic. Through an exploration of the lives of those who have held the title Dalai Lama throughout history and a consideration of the Dalai Lama’s place in Tibetan life, a full picture of this fascinating land comes into focus as it never has before.

Filled with court intrigue and war between rival monastic sects, shocking tantric rituals, miracle- working Lamas and supernatural feats of devotion, SECRET LIVES OF THE DALAI LAMA reveals the complicated history of Tibet. Alexander Norman develops a nuanced story that accounts for the more controversial elements of Tibet’s past while still capturing the unique spiritual achievements and literature of the Tibetan people and the tradition of compassion and altruism represented by the Dalai Lama.

Never sentimental but always respectful, SECRET LIVES OF THE DALAI LAMA is a key guide to Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism.

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The Untold Story of the Holy Men Who Shaped Tibet, from Pre-history to the Present Day

By Alexander Norman 

Published by Doubleday Religion, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Trade Paperback Original; On-Sale: February 16, 2010    

ISBN: 978-0-385-53070-5; 448 pages; $15.00


Alexander Norman has known His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1988 and has previously worked closely with him on his bestselling titles Freedom in Exile; Ethics for the New Millennium; and Ancient Wisdom, Modern World. He is a member of Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University.


For more information about SECRET LIVES OF THE DALAI LAMA or to schedule an interview with Alexander Norman please contact Caroline Sill at 212-782-8943 or

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The Crown Publishing Group