Ngaba is a small Tibetan town with only 10,000 people and didnâ€™t even have a traffic light until 2013. Yet it is known as the â€œself-immolation center of the world.â€ Why did Tibetans from this tiny town choose to die in such a gruesome and horrific way? You will find the answer in Barbara Demickâ€™s well-researched and beautifully written book, Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town, a book about the history and people of Ngaba. Despite all the curiosity about Tibet, most of us know very little about Tibetan history, its rich culture, the Tibetan people, and their complex relationship with Han Chinese. When I was in China, all I knew of Tibet were the things Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda wanted me to believe: Tibet was always part of China since the beginning of time; the Dalai Lama is a traitor and separatist; and before the Chinese army â€œliberatedâ€ Tibet in 1950, the Tibetan ruling class treated ordinary Tibetan people like slaves and subjected them to horrifying punishment for even minor mistakes, such as turning offendersâ€™ skulls into wine cups or using their skin to cover drums.