When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they moved to reestablish their traditional borders and in 1959 annexed Tibet. Most monasteries were closed, nomads were moved onto communes, the nobility were stripped of privileges, forests were cut, roads were paved, military airfields were constructed, and Tibet's communication with the outside world was cut off. A Portrait of Lost Tibet provides rare documentary photographs of traditional Tibetan life as it had been lived for countless generations before the radical disruption effected by the Chinese takeover. Rosemary Jones Tung's text describes the culture Ilya Tolstoy and Brooke Dolan found during their ten-month trek across Tibet in 1942. Tung has selected 131 photographs from the two thousand taken during their expedition.