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Item #: BK1694-9343
SPY ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD Sydney Wignall 2000 New Paperback Multiple Copies Available
By Wignall, Sydney
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New York, 2000. 267 pp, photos. New paperback.

In 1955 a Welsh expedition to Gurla Mandhata was imprisoned by the Chinese when they wandered over the Tibetan border. A previous book by Wignall never revealed the truth; that they really were spies for the British.

While organizing a Himalayan expedition in 1955 to climb Tibet's highest peak, Welsh mountaineer Wignall was recruited as a spy by India's secret service. This exhilarating account of his espionage, arrest by Chinese communists, several weeks' imprisonment in a rat-infested Tibetan jail and harrowing escape over a never-before-scaled Himalayan gorge is at once a thrilling real-life spy tale, a serendipitous adventure and an ethnographic travelogue.

It is laced with intrigue, close escapes from death, breathtaking vistas and affectionate observations of the Tibetan people surviving under draconian Chinese rule. Wignall, who displays acerbic wit and a flair for storytelling, obtained proof of China's Tibetan military buildup for an attack on India-intelligence ignored by India's Prime Minister Nehru, who befriended the supposedly 'anti-imperialist' Mao Tse-tung until China's invasion of northern India in 1962.

In prison, Wignall endured solitary confinement and kept a diary that he hid in an inflatable mattress. Decked with sketches from his trek-a mission he was prohibited from divulging for 25 years-his book condemns the West for allowing China's cultural and physical genocide of Tibet. He notes ominously that China is now building a strategic highway to Nepal- an easy means for a future invasion that would give Chinese troops direct access to India.


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