The story started off well enough but left me bewildered when the namesake of the story died barely two hours into the telling. But what turns out to be the main body of the tale followed; a compelling revelation of the changes which tumbled out onto the world from Genghis Khan's too-short life. Change the title to "The Rise and Fall of Mongol Civilization?" (with a deliberate and intentional terminating question mark) and you'll go into the book with a much more realistic set of expectations. After a slow start and a creeping but unrelenting acceleration into the future, you find yourself arriving in the modern world with a newfound connection to the traditionally obscure Mongol Empire. But be prepared for some ear candy after the book is over. A chapter-length epilog reveals that much of what you just heard derives from long-lost but newly rediscovered ancient manuscripts. Surprisingly (to me), it turns out that Weatherford played a personal role in this rediscovery and he does not hide his rah-rah admiration for the great Khan. Though I try very hard to be cynical, I cannot help but be infected by some of the author's profoundly-emotional admiration for the grand results which arose from a simple man living in a simple (barely Bronze Age) culture. I could argue strongly with the quizzical nature of how the book was put together, but not at all with the overall result, a magnificent revelation which is certain to rewrite our own perceptions of the modern world. And, by the way, Davis does an outstanding narration job parsing this material out over a full 800 years of human history.
It was new information for me. Very interesting.
For me the most interesting aspects involved the inclusive attitude toward the cultures which were conquered.
clear, deep, inflection-less
No, there was way too much information for sitting.
Overall I enjoyed it. It was a little bit textbook-like but offered much new information.
I am compelled to describe this book as a love letter to a civilization. It isn't overly fawning drivel, but more of the "Sometimes I really don't like you at all, but I always love you," variety that makes it so gripping.
I can't stand the books and documentaries on Alexander the Great that have presumably intelligent and compassionate adults falling all over themselves to talk about how amazing he was in the same way teenagers fawn over the popular kids. They tend to skip over the icky subjects of death and destruction or wax poetic at his brilliance at killing. I was afraid this book was going to be in that vein, but decided to give it a try since I knew little of the subject. This book, therefore, took me by surprise. The author doesn't gloss over the negatives, though he does try to give them context (which is helpful). The truth ( I have no reason to believe this is not an honest account, but I'm not remotely an expert) is good enough, good enough to have me starting every other sentence with "Did you know the Mongols had/were responsible for...," a sentence starter I don't think I'd ever used before.
The author's introduction (at the end do the book) was a bit dry, but that may be because it was a summary of what I'd just read. I'm glad I listened, if only for this dedication; "To the Young Mongols: Never forget the Mongolian scholars who were willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve your history."
This book actually covers much more that Genghis Khan, starting with his childhood continuing for generations after his death. An amazing example of leadership by tolerance and rewarding merit and performance. Countless institutions and foundations of modern society were invented or significantly advanced through the Mongol reign. The birth of global commerce, communication, and currency to name a few.
The narrator is a bit dry and slow but the content eventually wins out.
I intend to revisit this book, it is baffling how much influence the Mongol had over the making of the modern world.
The story flows the early making of Genghis, I kept waiting for the dry boring history and it never came. I find myself enamored with cultural adaptations and considerations in the reign of the great Khan's.
Simply put, this is the most amazing history book ever! (well, maybe just behind Power, Faith, Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to present; due to relevance today) I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as well as the narrator. History is usually dry and boring but both the author and narrator bring to life this amazing story.
Most importantly, we've all been taught little about the Mongol Empire and most of that is false. Please read/listen to this book and learn everything that I have. You will gain a respect for Genghis Khan, his decedents and their many accomplishments. You will then ask yourself how we've allowed misconceptions to perpetuate through time (I'm guilty myself).
Thanks to the secret history of Genghis Khan and Mr. Weatherford for his scrupulous research and presentation of that history. I immediately bought this book for my dad for Father's Day.
This is not your Vince Flynn thriller, but equally engaging for those with a love for world history and business. I recommend this for any MBA who wants a glimpse into a side of leadership not found in HBS cases. He fathered concepts from postal services to hunting preserves and broke the bonds of nobility in favor of performance-based rewards. Loved it. Great job to the researchers and author. Now off to my CIA thrillers...
The amount of research that had been done. It becomes clear in the end that the author Jack Weatherford lived and breathed this book for many years.
Also, the narration was perfect.
All of the pieces came together for Audible on this one.
So many parts that peaked my interest.
yes, will edit and explain in the future.
I enjoy the non-fiction audiobooks. I have a few favorites, This book has gone close to the top of the list. Im very happy I found it. In the case of this book, as well researched as it was - If the narration had been irritating then I may have just given up on it. It wasn't, the book went smooth and was easy to keep up with. The voice was clear.
The book is a must buy-read if you ask me. well worth the one credit.
This is a good book and one I am glad I listened to. It is basic history, told with some exciting moments. It is not the stuff that inspires making it into a movie, but is worth the knowing and the time if you are at all interested in history.