This is a very entertaining well researched biography of one of the most important men in history. The influence Genghis Khan had on history and shaping the civilized world is without peer. He literally conquered and reformed Europe and Asia. Read this book whether you like history or just a wonderfully entertaining well researched book.
To others listening to this book - the Introduction, read by the author, is actually the last chapter of part 2. Why? I don't know.
If you want to better understand the book listen to the last chapter of Part 2 first, then go back and listen to the rest. The 'introduction' explains how the author ended up writing the book and explains the origins of "The Secret Histories" which only because available recently and upon which a lot of the information in the book is based.
Other than that anomaly, the book is good. The narrator is good and the content is great. It spends the first half of the book looking a Genghis Khan, the next 1/3 looking at his decedents and how they eventually failed the great empire he built and the last big looking at how the Mongols have been viewed since then (fairly favourably until the 18th - 19th century when they suddenly became the boogey man to Europe).
Just wasn't impressed. There is a lot of good history here but a lot of information that you may forget the moment you hear it. A lot of Khan's killing Khan's but a lot of information on what they wore or ate for dinner. All of it is factual I am sure but not all of the facts are interesting.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
The name Genghis Khan brings to mind murdering Mongolian hordes. This book examines who Genghis Khan was, and the changes to civilization resulting from him and his descendants. Perhaps it is revisionist history, but nevertheless, I different way to look at how civilization grew, and the part Genghis Khan played.
Divided in three parts, the first is Genghis Khan, than his four sons and their descendants, and finally their place in history and impact of communism on the Mongol people and the research into this era.
The book is written lively and I learned new things about civilization and the fall of this empire because of the plague. Most interesting to me was Khan's tolerance of religion and how he would adopt advances in one region and because he didn't restrict because of religious reasons, took that advancement to other areas he conquered.
Really enjoyed the audio book - except they put the author's comments at the end of the audiobook - if it had been earlier, I would have made a point to use the reference materials while reading.
Weatherford should write a book just about the adventure of researching this book - that would be fascinating.
"fabric artist and quilter"
I have listened to several biographies of historical figures that history and common knowledge has represented as nasty, unpleasant and possibly evil. Modern research has however revealed that they have been misrepresented by history and while not necessarily the nicest of people they really weren't as bad as they previously were painted.
This book rewrites Genghis Khan's historical legacy. He was ruthless but it was explained why he was so and in context it make sense. You wouldn't want him as a friend, you certainly wouldn't want him as an enemy but you have to admire his skill at administering a huge empire.
How after years of conquering he settled down to consolidate what he'd won and how he set up trade between the different areas of his empire, how it was all recorded, how information and innovations were spread from the pacific to the mediterranean was impressive to say the least.
Occasionally the history got a bit bogged down but overall it was fascinating and revealing. I won't be racing off to Ulan Bator but I do now have a better appreciation of what he did and how he has changed the modern world.
For a newbie to eastern history, I found this work easy to follow despite an impressive degree of detail as the author goes through the lives and deeds of Genghis, as well as Genghis' children and grandchildren- all the way to Kublai Kahn.
I think one of the reasons I stayed so engaged was the conscious effort of the author to frequently step back and broaden the scope of a given event, explicitly describing what a lasting influence the great Kahns had on the world.I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in hearing how the Mongols shaped the east, and greatly influenced the west.
Yes, It shows the Mongols in a light that traditional american studies has obscured. We are taught about the Mongols and Genghis Khan were ruthless savages instead of highlighting the facts of Mongols and the basic civilization and structures that most of societies are built on.
The beauty of the story of a man who rather then living in ignorance uses his knowledge to unite people and when encountering peoples of differing religions does not attempt to convert them as the as Muslims and Christian Templar's had but instead learns from them.
Both performers were enjoyable to listen to, Though I found Jonathan Davis to be a bit better.
I broke it up but, It would be enjoyable in a single run if someone had the time.
It continuously put the accomplishment of Genghis Kahn in perspective by comparing with numerous other nations and leaders.
A definite read for everyone interested in world history.
Yes, the research that went into this book and the details provided are astounding. Any history afficianado will want to give this a few listens.
I found the book informative, entertaining and well-researched. Mr Weatherford makes an interesting point in the connections he draws between Mongol policies and modern practices. I plan to listen to it again in the near future. However, while Mr. Weatherford shows an extensive knowledge of Mongolian history language and culture he shows weaknesess in other areas. For example, he makes the bizarre claim that China was not a unified country before the Yuan dynasty, he bases this statement on the fact that China has many dialects. This is true even today! Many spoken languages existing within the borders of one country does not mean that a county isnt unified. Any student of Chinese history knows that China was a unified country over a millenium before the Mongols came. Mr Weatherford also glosses over the racial caste system and mass genocide of Southern Chinese civilians enacted by the Yuan rulers.The author also apparantly has a bone to pick with Christianity and repeatedly fails to distinguish the attrocities comitted by misguided zealots from a relgion that originally promoted love and equality. At the same time, he fails to condemn evils comitted in the name of Islam or Buddhism. in a similar way . No book is perfect.
Great listen, well balanced pace and detail with good passion.
repeat listens keep giving more insight
saves me reading to myself
riveting listen :-)