"There is very little time for reading in my new job. But of the few books I've read, my favourite is Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford (Crown Publishers, New York). It's a fascinating book portraying Genghis Khan in a totally new light. It shows that he was a great secular leader, among other things." --Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
"Reads like the Iliad. . . Part travelogue, part epic narrative." --Washington Post
"It's hard to think of anyone else who rose from such inauspicious beginnings to something so awesome, except maybe Jesus." --Harper's
"Weatherford's lively analysis restores the Mongol's reputation, and it takes wonderful learned detours. . . . Well written and full of suprises." --Kirkus Reviews
"Weatherford is a fantastic storyteller. . . . [His] portrait of Khan is drawn with sufficiently self-complicating depth. . . . Weatherford's account gives a generous view of the Mongol conqueror at his best and worst." --Minneapolis Star Tribune
A re-evaluation of Genghis Khan's rise to power examines the reforms the conqueror instituted throughout his empire and his uniting of East and West, which set the foundation for the nation-states and economic systems of the modern era.
this book is one of the best that I have ever read, I learnt so much about Gengis Khan and the Mongols he conquered an area as large as the whole of North America and never lost a single battle, the modern Asian Countries boundaries owe a lot to his battles i.e. China, India and Russia although he never lost a battle he was outnumbered on every occasion, I purchased this book for my daughters partners birthday in a couple of weeks time, hopefully he will enjoy reading it as much as I did.
It only took me three days to read this relatively thin paperback. Genghis Khan had a huge role in history and there is rather a dearth of information on him, considering the massive scale of the Mongol Empire he created. At its peak, it ran from the Pacific in the East to the Mediterranean in the West, bigger than the Roman Empire and that carved by Alexander the Great. The author based his account primarily on new revelations prompted by his research team re-examining the Secret History of The Mongols, an ancient document which was very difficult to translate and had laid hidden for many years due to the political upheavals in the region. Genghis has a mixed reputation throughout history, with the likes of Chaucer elevating him and Voltaire and Montesquieu later deriding him. The Mongols uniquely placed world culture in a position to develop into what we now know, with international trade, religious tolerance and mass migration of peoples. The Mongols are perhaps looked down upon for not bequeathing us anything unique from their own culture, but rather amalgamating and developing existing ideas from the races and civilisations of other people’s they conquered. They practised some novel ideas for the time such as diplomatic immunity, not torturing prisoners, allowing all religions to flourish under the empire with an emphasis on secular law. The book covers the rise of Temujin from his downtrodden youth, to the height of his power and then looks at the maintenance of his legacy after his death, with the separation of the great Khanate into four primary regions. It is a great look at medieval history from an Asian perspective and has enlightened me about various subjects from that time and added to knowledge I already had on the Crusades, Marco Polo, the Black Death and The European Renaissance. The decline of the Empire was sudden and could only arise through a natural disaster which engulfed the whole world, in the Great Plague. What would have occurred had this devastating illness never erupted? The book was brief and precise and covered a vast array of topics though in my opinion for such a good subject matter, it could have been more expansive in volume. It has given me a taste for Genghis Khan and I shall try to dig out some more similar biographies on the great Steppes people. https://wezgbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/review-genghis-khan-and-the-making-of-the-modern-world/
This is one of those type of books that contradicts the archetypical description of a so called despot.The truth though comes out in this brilliantly described and honest look at the true life and times of a leader who ranks atop of the list of so called world leaders?The outstanding and some what shocking difference is that this man did all his outstanding conquests when europe was still burning witches.The details of this mans achievements and his intellectual understanding of the option of a bloodless conquest put the rest of the eurasian empires on the same level of stone age man.A brilliant book that clears the mud from the water. Well Done.
The book on Mongol tribes and history of it rulers written by Jack Weatherford is very revealing and informative. The Travels of Marco Polo was the first I have read and came to know about world history in the 13th century. In addition to the bloody events ( which the western scholars only emphasize ) I was very intrigued by technological ,social and commercial progress of the times. The Globalization as we are familiar with, started more than 800 years ago. They are far ahead of our recent times in conduct of global commerce, technological exchange, universal education, plant hybridization and conduct of warfare. Khublai Khan started to introduce social welfare and benefits system, paper money, mass production of goods, digital system of organization in the army and blitzkrieg which I thought the Nazis first used it. The Chinese bureaucracy was further refined, record keeping was enhanced and multinationalism encouraged. While Europe was in the Dark Ages, cosmopolitan East with millions population in the cities were in existence in the East. And I don't mean China only. India, Champa, Java, Bagan and richness of Middle Eastern civilizations are in evidence. But for the excesses of Mongol armies, cultures such as in Baghdad was reduced to the ashes. You can surmise that European renaissance was based on eastern civilizations as the author alleges. But everything was ruined by the plague, both in east and west. We can learn the lessons and apply to present urban metropolitan civilizations of the 21st century. The book is given five stars by the reader.
I never knew there was so much about Genghis Khan. How do we not come across him at school when he has influenced our society so much. I haven't read any other books on him so I can't compare but I thoroughly enjoyed this one - and I'm not interested in history or biographies normally but this was easy to read.
Very interesting book with lots of hands on experiences in the real places . Unfortunately he is too close to the subject and is keen to say a lot of about his personal involvement which have no bearing on the heart of the story. Nevertheless, it is a good book but need patience to get to the heart of the subject about Genghis Khan.
There is no doubt military expansions by imperialist polities create death. But after war, everyone settled down to trade. This book explains in easy to understand language how the Mongol empire rose and fell and the by-products of the conquest. It offers insight into how other world cultures may view the innovations we enjoy today.