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31 Reviews
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very well written history of Genghis Khan, intermingled with the author's travels and discoveries in Mongolia as he seeks to 'find the truth' and location of Genghis' birthplace and death.
Balances out and discusses fact and fiction/legend nicely and provides several interesting insights into the importance of Genghis in current Mongolian, and more interestingly,...
Published on 1 Mar 2004

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!
Probably the worst history book I've ever read. Its very, very rare for me to be unable to finish a book, but I just couldn't bring myself to endure any more of it. Whilst the story of Genghis Khan and the Mongols is a fascinating one that needs to be told, the author mixes far too much folklore and personal editorialising in there - the 3rd time he mentioned America...
Published on 18 Dec 2010 by Mount Suribachi


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5.0 out of 5 stars Genghis Khan, 24 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
Delighted with this book and anyone interested in the subject will be delighted too. Really gives you a flavor of his life and times
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting way of dealing with the subject, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
Man obviously knows his stuff and the book is crammed with interesting details and etymology. The downside is that he can wander away from the practical issues at hand and onto the idyllic aspects. So we are told in two sentences of a battle, with no information on tactics or such and have paragraphs instead of a nearby hill or plain that he camped on.

Bit more balance and this would be 5 stars easily.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enthusiastic but patchy, 8 July 2008
By 
N. Croft (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
Genghis Khan is full of the author's enthusiasm for Mongol culture and their history, and this is charming for the most part. The period that this book deals with is fascinating, and the book itself describes engagingly the clash of urban and nomadic cultures, the intertwining of Mongolia's fate in China and how Genghis Khan may have lived and died. Much is based on conjecture; this is clearly necessary as there is only one limited source, The Secret History, from around the time. This is clearly explained in the text and where this and other sources are questionable the reader is informed and the evidence appears to be dealt with an appropriate degree of scepticism.
The lack of evidence becomes more troublesome when the author feels the need to introduce his travels to flesh out the content. As suggested in other reviews, it feels like space filler and adds very little to the book, making you wish you could hit fast forward on these sections.
Another slight annoyance is the apologist theme throughout - whenever the Mongols commit an atrocity, it is not for sadism or xenophobia's sake but as a 'sign for others' or as justifiable vengeance. Given the number of murders - particularly of non-combatants - the Mongols felt they had to commit to peoples of various backgrounds, either word didn't get around or this strategy didn't work that well.
Genghis Khan is on the whole an informative read, but I would not have resented a shorter book. I would give it three stars but I'm not sure if anyone has made a better book on this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, 11 Jun 2008
This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
If you want to know about Mr Khan, this is the book. John Man has done a brilliant job in bringing this incredible man to life. Other reviewers have explained the book well. If you are interested in Ghengis, whatever your moral compass, this is the book you need to read. Briliant.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible!, 25 Feb 2010
By 
A. Biguzzi "Andrea" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
This book is terrible. If you want the recipe for marmot stew or if you really want to know where the author saw the footbal world cup final or if you want to wast your time reading blatant falsehoods like "the eye and the camera see different wavelengths", then read this book. If you're even remotely interested in history, you'd better look elsewhere.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but too much travelogue, 19 Mar 2008
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
By some estimates, Genghis Khan managed to rid the world of one-tenth of its contemporary population, which means that his credentials in the noble art of mass murder are nearly unequalled. John Man gives us a more balanced picture. But beware! This is John Man, The Fan Of Khan, and he therefore tends to accentuate the positive of ol' G.K., such as it is. Certainly Genghis's empire was impressive, considering that it was all done on horseback. However, given that the Mongols were nomadic, with nothing but contempt for sedentary peoples, who merited only robbing, looting, raping and massacring, it was never going to last. Mr. Man brings the story down to the present day, with a number of countries seeking to claim the legacy of Genghis.

And this, for me, is where the problems with this book start. Mr. Man seeks out the places with which Genghis was associated - where he was born and where he possibly died. This I found interesting - up to a point. But for me, there was much too much of it and in too much detail, and after a while I found myself speeding up to get through it quicker. A shorter version of the literary traveller's tales would have made for a much better book.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a bad mix of travel writing and poor history, 25 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
This book covers an intersting topic but fails to deliver. It is a blend of travel writing and history that doesn't fit well together. The author fails to explain the reasons why the mongols expanded their domains and why they did so with ease. There is not discussion into population demographics, weather patterns or cultural change that might explain why this expansion happened. similarly he doesn't account for the empires demise with good enough reason. Overall a very poor travelogue which blends conjecture with a holiday diary.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The interesting and informative story of a great man, 11 Oct 2006
By 
T. R. Alexander (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
Genghis Khan rose from obscurity to command of the Mongol tribes and upon his death ruled one of the largest empires the world had ever seen, an empire his descendents expanded until it stretched from Korea to Hungary. This book attempts to shed some light on the life and death of Genghis Khan, sifting fact from legend and shows his place in the hearts and minds of modern Mongolian and Chinese people.

This book follows in the footsteps of the great conquer from his birth to his death. Using historical sources as well as more modern research and interspaced with tales from his own journeys around Asia, John Man weaves an interesting and enjoyable story that is a must read for anyone interested in Far Eastern history. Unlike many people I have never seen Genghis Khan as a villain but as one of the greatest men in history and I hope that this book goes some way to redress the balance oh his reputation.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no clever analysis, 12 Jan 2012
This is a very frustrating book. It doesn't answer any key questions e.g. what prompted the invasions, how did the mongols increase their numbers whilst taking over new territories. It is a travelogue and id not insightful.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ginghis KHAN, 14 Nov 2009
This review is from: Genghis Khan (Paperback)
I was very disappointed with this book as I thought that it was going to explain, in dept, the life of Ginghis Khan. However, I found the writer spent too much time discussing his investigations and the problems he encountered while seeking historical places of interest relating to the life and times of Ginghis and not enough about the person. Perhaps he may not have been able to get enough information. I understand that a lot of the history was never recorded and much of what was recorded has been lost.
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Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan by John Man (Paperback - 1 Mar 2005)
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