Herdsman to Statesman: The Autobiography of Jamsrangiin Sambuu of Mongolia

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 159 pages
This compelling autobiography encapsulates the profound changes that transformed the underdeveloped world in the twentieth century. Jamsrangiin Sambuu, born in 1895 to a herder family in a remote region of Mongolia, rose to become ambassador and eventually president of a haltingly industrialized and urbanized Communist country. In the process, he came to know Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and other leading figures. Sambuu relates horrifying vignettes of the harsh and oppressive rule over Mongolia by the Chinese, the Manchus, and the Mongolian nobility and lamas until 1911. Yet his stories of exploitation and torture are balanced by a lively, picturesque, and informative portrait of traditional herding life, including diet, popular religion, marital ceremonies, and medicine. Sambuu relates how his visceral hatred of the avaricious Mongolian Buddhist monks and nobles prompted him to join the Communist movement in the early 1920s. Valued for his education and work ethic, he rose rapidly in the Party bureaucracy, becoming ambassador to the Soviet Union during World War II and to North Korea during the Korean War. Recounting his eventful diplomatic career, Sambuu paints vivid portraits of Stalin, Anastas Mikoyan, and other prominent Soviet leaders. Enriched by a thoughtful introduction by leading scholar Morris Rossabi that sets the historical stage, this life story of a still-beloved Mongolian illuminates a world few in the West have seen.
 

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Contents

Paths of Life
1
A Translation by Mary Rossabi
21
Preface
23
Chapter 1 My Ignorant Simple Childhood
25
Chapter 2 Becoming Acquainted with the Hardships of Life
30
Chapter 3 Loving Lessons from My Parents
35
Chapter 4 Living at the Official Ministry for Two Months
40
Chapter 5 Every Man Is Different
48
Chapter 10 The Road to Educating the People through the Party
77
Chapter 11 Carrying Out the Responsibility of Trust
85
Chapter 12 Representing Our Government to Our Friendly Neighbor
97
Chapter 13 The Soviet Union Breaks Up an Attack
109
Chapter 14 Examining a Firm Friendship in the Heat of an Historic Struggle
114
Chapter 15 The End of the Harmful War and the Beginning of Peace Time
131
Chapter 16 An Honorable Task for the People and the Country
136
Selected Bibliography
149

Chapter 6 The Strong One Is Always Right
52
Chapter 7 Time to Begin Lending a Hand with the Writing Work
60
Chapter 8 How I Became a Family Man
68
Chapter 9 Setting Out by Horseback Armed against the Occupier
71
Index
153
About the Editor and Translator
159
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Morris Rossabi is distinguished professor of history, City University of New York, and adjunct professor, Columbia University. Mary Rossabi is an independent scholar and translator.

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