- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; New edition edition (15 May 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0631175636
- ISBN-13: 978-0631175636
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.4 x 23.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,621,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Mongols (Peoples of Asia) Paperback – 15 May 1990
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"The appearance of a new, well–done general history is a welcome event. The outcome is an excellent and readable account." Middle East Studies Association Bulletin
"Excellent work, the best that we have of its kind" Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
"Well–written, well–documented presentation, with an excellent – exceptionally accurate – bibliography. I know of no better book to give a general view of the "great" epoch of Mongol History." English Historical Review
From the Back Cover
The Mongol Empire was the largest continuous land empire known to history, its violent creation the major political event of the thirteenth century world. Yet little is known of the history of Christendom′s most formidable and dangerous eastern neighbour.
This up–to–date chronicle benefits from new discoveries and a broad range of source material. David Morgan explains how the vast Mongolian Empire was organized and governed, examing the religious and policital character of the steppe nomadic society. He assesses the astonishing military career of Chingiz (Genghis) Khan, considers the nature of Mongol imperial government, and the effects of Mongol campaigns on the countries and peoples they conquered in china, Russia, Persia and Europe. Dr Morgan extends his narrative through the collapse of the empire and the formation of a People′s Republic as a Russian satellite.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Still, the lack of a written Mongolian language (not developed until the reign of Chingiz Khan) means that much of the history of the empire is lost to us, and that what does exist is produced by outsiders. Nevertheless, Morgan does a first-rate job of describing its expansion and operation. He explains that the Mongols owed their incredible success to their use of mounted warriors, a natural role for a nomadic people. This heavy use of horses both gave them and also limited their conquests: Morgan theorizes that inadequate pastureland may have been a critical factor in the withdrawal of Mongol invaders from both Hungary in 1242 and Syria in 1260. But the most revealing factor of the importance of the Mongol army in its historical achievements lay in the overthrow of Mongol rule; it was in the areas where the Mongols were able to maintain their nomadic lifestyles (and thus their military advantage) that Mongol control proved most enduring. In all, Morgan provides a good, concise overview of a fascinating subject.
The beginning seemed designed to turn off all but the most determined reader. It is a scholarly overview of the original sources on the Mongols. While this is very interesting - to read them in the original it would require knowledge of Chinese, Persian, Turkish and Arabic at a minimum - the place for it is an afterward, or even footnotes, not 30 pages of turgid prose, that is, if you want to spark interest in a lay reader rather than count on academic obligation to get through it.
The same is true of the conclusion, which is an overview of scholarship since 1985, i.e. when the first edition was published. There you get served the dullest array of academic controversies, many of which are choices of emphasizing one interpretation over the others, e.g. were the Mongols really as brutal as their reputation or did they bring good to those they governed? An essential question, but the way that it is presented in unspeakably boring and reeks of intellectuals taking a stand in order to develop interpretations (however silly or unrealistic) in order to advance their careers. Indeed, that this is tacked on as a final chapter rather than integrated into the text is a sign of laziness if you ask me. There is no wrapup, but instead this stilted and rambling discussion of who is saying what at the moment.
That leaves a scant 150 pages for all of the historical information on the Mongols.Read more ›
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