The Mongol Art of War Hardcover – 22 Mar 2007
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' The definitive study of the Mongol legacy' -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Timothy May, a leading expert on the Mongol empire, is a professor of history at North Georgia College and State University. He is coauthor of The Horse and the Origins of Horse Medicine in China. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It contains sections on every category which the student of medieval war will be seeking. Recruitment, organisation, tactics, exploits of the toxophilite cavalry, the Mongol generals. This book fills an important gap in our knowledge and complements the work of J.Saunders, George Vernadsky and Martin. I'm so glad I bought a copy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"The Mongol Art of War" covers the years 1185-1265 and the leaders Chinggis (Genghis) Kahn through Khubilai (Kubla) Kahn. In all it took the empire only 80 years to conquer a vast range from Mongolia and China in the East to Russia and Persia in the West. Along the way the Mongols mastered the art of Steppe warfare including discipline and logistics, and showed a willingness to adapt and learn from their enemies including how to conduct siege warfare. The book includes a thought provoking discussion of similarity of Mongolian war tactics with war tactics in World War II especially Blitzkrieg.
Timothy May's passion for the Mongol war machine makes the book factual and fast-paced. He tells the 'bottom line' of Mongol rise and expansion in the first chapter, then explains the details of how they did it in the remaining eight.
This history is a surprising illustration that turns the tables on thinking of Mongols as uneducated barbarians. They had the ability to master themselves and logistics, and then to further learn and adapt from their campaign experiences. They were masters of communication, espionage and (where needed) deceit. These were some of the real reasons behind their empire's success.
I find it thought provoking to wonder at the end of the book: What would it have taken for Chinggis to assure continuity of his empire through time (past his lineage's death) in the same manner that he mastered its continuity in space (breadth). May's book rekindles interest and awareness of the contribution of the Mongol empire to the history and growth of Asia and East Europe culture.
As there are several quality reviews listed, I would prefer to them with some additional comments.
One wanting a full in depth view of the Mongol Empire as well as the Mongolian Art of War would do well to read application books by Morris Rossabi, Thomas Craughwell and Richard Gabriel's book on the Mongolian general, Subotai.
There is a lot to like about The Mongol Art of War. It is written, for the most part, from the ground up and gives great detail as to what individual Mongol soldiers carried with them, the weapons they used, the mounts they traveled on, and their daily tasks. The text is never dry or dull and the pace keeps the reader interested throughout. Great book.
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