Goldstein, Melvyn C. 1938–
Goldstein, Melvyn C. 1938–
PERSONAL: Born February 8, 1938, in New York, NY; son of Harold and Rae Goldstein; children: Andre. Education: University of Michigan, B.A., 1959, M.A., 1960; University of Washington, Seattle, Ph.D., 1968.
CAREER: Social anthropologist, educator, writer, and editor. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, assistant professor, 1968–71, associate professor, 1971–76, professor of anthropology, 1976–91, department chair, 1976–2001, Center for Research on Tibet, director, 1987–, J.R. Harkness Professor, 1991–. Serves on numerous committees, boards, and commissions, including ones for the Peak Enterprise Program of the Mountain Institute (for Tibetan Development), 1987–; Mt Everest Binational Nature Reserve Project, 1991–; National Committee on United States-China Relations, 1997–; Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund, 19979–.
MEMBER: International Mountain Society, American Anthropological Association, Society of Applied Anthropology, Society of Medical Anthropology, Association for Anthropology and Gerontology, Nepal Studies Association, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
AWARDS, HONORS: Recipients of numerous grants, including grants from American Council of Learned Societies, 1973–74, National Institutes of Health, 1976–77, 1980–82, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1980–82, 1982–84, 1989–92, 1992–94, 1994–96, 1995–97, 2000–03, U.S. Department of Education, 1980–82, 1986–87, 1994–97, National Geographic Society, 1980–81, 1986–87, 1992, 1996–97 Smithsonian Institution, 1981–83, National Academy of Sciences China Program, 1985, 1986–87, Henry J. Luce Foundation, 1997–2000, 2000–04, National Endowment for the Humanities 2000–04, 2005–07, Werner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2005–06, and National Science Foundation, 2005–08.
(With Nawang Nornang) Modern Spoken Tibetan: Lhasa Dialect, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1970, revised edition, adapted for use at the University of Virginia by Elizabeth S. Napper, Ibis (Charlottesville, VA), 1989.
Modern Literary Tibetan: A Grammar and Reader, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1973.
Tibetan English Dictionary of Modern Tibetan, Ratner Pustak Bhandar (Kathmandu, Nepal), 1975.
(Compiler, with Ngawangthondup Narkyid) English-Tibetan Dictionary of Modern Tibetan, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1984, revised edition, Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (Dharamsala, India), 1999.
A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State, with the help of Gelek Rimpoche, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1989.
(With Cynthia M. Beall) Nomads of Western Tibet: The Survival of a Way of Life, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1990.
(With Gelek Rimpoche and Lobsang Phuntshog) Essentials of Modern Literary Tibetan: A Reading Course and Reference Grammar, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.
(With Cynthia M. Beall) The Changing World of Mongolia's Nomads, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.
(With Sandup Tsering) Tibetan Phrasebook, 2nd edition, Lonely Planet Publications (Oakland, CA), 1996.
The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1997.
(Editor and contributor, with Matthew T. Kapstein) Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and National Identity, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1999.
(With William Siebenschuh and Tashi Tsering) The Struggle for a Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with assistant editors T.N. Shelling and J.T. Surkhang) A New Tibetan-English Dictionary of Modern Tibetan, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2001.
(With Dawei Sherap, and William R. Siebenschuh) A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phuntso Wangye, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2004.
Contributor to anthropology journals. Editor, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology; books have been published in foreign languages, including Chinese.
SIDELIGHTS: Melvyn C. Goldstein is a social anthropologist who has written and edited numerous books about Tibet, its language, and its people. For example, in A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State, Golstein focuses on "the end of imperial China's bids to control Tibet and the beginning of those by communist China," as noted by David Gillard in the English Historical Review. Gillard went on to call the history an "absorbing reconstruction of what happened in Tibet during these years of its effective independence."
In his book The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, Goldstein provides an indepth historical perspective concerning the relationship and territorial disputes between China and Tibet beginning around the seventh century. A contributor to the Economist noted: "According to Mr. Goldstein, America's reluctance to become involved in Tibet has strengthened the hand of the hard-liners in Beijing." Booklist contributor Donna Seaman called The Snow Lion and the Dragon "a lucid and fast-paced overview of the political and religious issues at stake in the struggle between Tibet and China." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "this slim, dearly written volume offers the general reader a concise and balanced overview of the complicated history" between the two longtime adversaries. In a review in Pacific Affairs, Solomon M. Karmel noted that Goldstein's "neat little text fills a gap in the study of politics in Tibet, by struggling to provide a dispassionate account of Chinese-Tibetan relations, with a focus on the twentieth century."
Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity was edited by Goldstein and Matthew T. Kapstein. The book focuses on "the religious revival, in diverse regional and sectarian contexts, made possible by a strategic shift in policy on the part of the Chinese government after 1978," as noted by Marcia Calkowki in the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. Goldstein's contributions to the book include the first two introductory chapters about Tibetan religious life regulated by the Communist Chinese and the revival of the Drepung Monastery. Journal of Religion contributor Charles F. McKhann wrote: "The essays collected in this volume stand out in the field of Tibetan religious studies for their strong ethnographic grounding and their balanced presentation of issues that are often highly politicized."
The Struggle for a Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering, which Goldstein wrote with William Siebenschuh and Tashi Tsering, tells of Tsering's return to Tibet after studying abroad and his eventual imprisonment during the cultural revolution despite the fact that he viewed the Chinese takeover of Tibet as an opportunity for modernization. Steven I. Levine, writing in the Library Journal, called the book "a harrowing but remarkably unbitter story." Pacific Affairs contributor Philip Denwood wrote: "Altogether, a very worthwhile read for anyone concerned with Tibetan studies."
Goldstein is also coauthor with Dawei Sherap and William R. Siebenschuh of Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phuntso Wangye. The book recounts the story of Wangye, also known as Phunwang, who first wholeheartedly participated in a communist program training ethnic minorities for jobs in the government and also founded the Tibetan Communist Party. Nevertheless, Phunwang eventually found himself in a Chinese prison for eighteen years. His long and harsh incarceration, however, did not stop him from reentering politics upon his release or from becoming a noted author. Donna Seaman, writing in Booklist, called the book a "vibrant biography" and "an invaluable addition to modern Tibetan history." China Review International contributor A. Tom Grunfeld noted that the author's decision to use a first-person narrative for the biography based on numerous interviews "works exceedingly well in telling the story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australian Journal of Anthopology, December, 1999, Elisabeth Stutchbury, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama, p. 386.
Booklist, November 1, 1997, Donna Seaman, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon, p. 450; June 1, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye, p. 1692.
Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, November, 2000, Marcia Calkowki, review of Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, p. 488.
China Review International, spring, 2002, Karma Lekshe Tsomo, review of Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet, p. 124; fall, 2004, A. Tom Grunfeld, review of A Tibetan Revolutionary, p. 351.
Economist, February 14, 1998, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon, p. R7.
English Historical Review, July, 1993, David Gillard, review of A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State, p. 767.
Journal of Religion, October, 2001, Charles F. McKhann, review of Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet, p. 695.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, June, 1999, Martin Mills, review of Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet, p. 311; September 9, 1999, Ralf Ceplak Mencin, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon, p. 477.
Library Journal, March 15, 1997, Steven I. Levine, review of The Struggle for Modern Tibet, p. 76; June 15, 2004, John F. Riddick, review of Tibetan Revolutionary, p. 78.
Pacific Affairs, summer, 1998, Philip Denwood, review of The Struggle for Modern Tibet, p. 268; winter, 1998, Solomon M. Karmel, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon, p. 573.
Publishers Weekly, October 27, 1997, review of The Snow Lion and the Dragon, p. 60.
Case Western Reserve University Center for Research on Tibet Web site, http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/ (October 19, 2006), faculty profile of author and author's CV.