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Author's Spotlight-IN THE SHADOW OF THE BUDDHA Author Matteo Pistono

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IN THE SHADOW OF THE BUDDHA is a rare public telling of human rights monitor operating covertly in a closed society. For nearly a decade, Pistono evaded Chinese security and took photos of prisons, obtained secret documents, and smuggled out firsthand interviews of torture victims and other human rights abuses, giving them to the Dalai Lama, NGOs, the US State Department, and Congressmen. Keeping his identity hidden, Pistono regularly briefed reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Newsweek on the political situation in Tibet from 2000 to 2007. In 2003 he was featured in Men’s Journal cover story with Richard Gere, though his identity was concealed in the story. Disillusioned by a career in American politics, Pistono originally fled to the Himalaya in hopes of more peaceful and meaningful way of life. On spiritual pilgrimage, he intended to follow in the footsteps of one of Tibet’s greatest mystics of the 20th century, Tertön Sogyal. But as he visited every notable site of the mystic’s life, he continually met monks, nomads and everyday Tibetans who shared with him their struggles and strife under an abusive and oppressive Chinese reign. Pistono’s travels soon took dramatic new shape.

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