What does the review tell us about the Dalai Lama's reputation and role in the West? How far does the impression given by the reviewer match the wider reputation of the Dalai Lama as evidenced by the sources discussed in Book 1, Chapter 7?
The reviewer gives a very reverential and respectful view of the Dalai Lama. The review itself does tells us little about the reputation of the Dalai Lama in the West, rather it gives the reviewers perception of him. He does tell us that, "he has won admiration from ordinary people" for his devotion to his cause. Also that he has won "worldwide admiration" as the leader of his exiled people. The impression is given that the unusual and difficult childhood the Dalai Lama faced was a challenge that he not only survived, but did so heroically by going on to win a Nobel Peace Prize. This view is indeed often echoed in the West. The author's clarification of his usage of "simplicity" as in "the best sense of the word' confirms his admiration for theDalai Lama for being a simple monk. Many in the West, particularly the young, share such admiration, because he is seen as a man and a leader who is true to his convictions. Referring to him as akin to "outstanding historical figures in history" the author already presumes the Dalai Lama's place there as a result of his lifetime devotion to his cause. His analysis of the Lama's humanity as having great appeal through the writing as well as in personal audience, implies he may well have met him himself, thus making it easy for him to "almost hear his bubbling laughter" in his text. He does not shy away from portraying the Lama as charismatic and down to earth. These are traits the Lama is widely reputed for in the West. The author's highlighting of the Lama's bird table and travel stories, emphasises his simplicity and draws attention to the Lama's love of nature. In assessing the Lama's portrayal of historical events in Tibet the author does not question any of the Lama's statements...
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