Yet another big chunk of history I didn't know about! And most the intelligent thing I can say after listening to this book is WOW!!! What a GUY!!
It is really hard to believe Ghengis Khan accomplished so much and improved the lives of so many in such a short time. This book could be used to study leadership, organizational behavior, public administration, military science, foreign policy, creative/critical thinking and the art of the deal!
The author helps bring the Khan's accomplishments into perspective by equating it to early America -- imagine a slave who rises to the top of American politics and military, "gently" incorporates everything from Canada to South America into the same system, invents an alphabet, a financial system, encourages education/literacy, values medical science and healing arts, supports orphans and widows,,, oh gosh! and a whole lot more! WOW!! What a GUY!!
What can I say? You don't understand history if you don't understand Genghis. Particularly you don't know Middle Age to Modern, Asian, Indian or Islamic history, the history of ideas and inventions, how fate saved Japan (similar to how the Spanish Armada was dashed). Did the West eventually stop his successors? More likely the black plague did.
This is a wonderful book indeed, based on some recently discovered archeological records (Secret Histories), since the Soviets left Mongolia. A stimulating and exciting tale, with plenty of variety.
A well written book with excellent naration that challenges the long-held belief that the Monguls were barbarians. I learned a lot though I think Weatherford pushes the case a bit too far that the Khans set the stage for the modern world.
Within my filtered and stilted education for matters historical, the Mongols were painted as a genuine barbarian horde. This retelling of the empire as the first great multinational trans-denominational corporation is fascinating! Even better, the story of the research itself is like a detective novella. This really helps me understand the torch that lit the bonfire of the Renaissance.
I'm not a huge history buff, so reading this was a bit of a leap for me, but I'm so glad I did! Fascinating information, well presented that left me saying'wow - I didn't know that!' & with that, wanting more. Gengis Khan shows from where our modern world evolved & how a single man intuitively understood a better way to live, war & die.
If you think Genghis Khan and the Mongols were just blood thirsty savages then read this book. While it has some historical inaccuracies and biased in favor of the Mongols it is very entertaining and covers their innovations which contributed to their success. In 25 years they transitioned from scattered tribes to a dominant empire that took over more land than the Romans achieved in 400 years. What surprised me was that unlike many other cultures of their time they did not condone torture and they allowed freedom of religion. Who knows how long their empire would have continued to grow if it were not for the plague.
The material is great, and enhanced by the narration. I had no idea Genghis Khan was this interesting!
This audiobook is well worth a credit! Both the narrative and narration very well done and the book is full of very interesting details of history.
My only criticism would be that this book talks about Genghis Khan as well as his sucessors. THe title led me to believe that this would be a book about him entirely. Also, there is little mention on the impact that he had on the Modern world, also as the title suggests. That said, I have been left with a more complete picture of the Khan Dynasty because the author wrote the book this way. These two things aside I still enjoyed the book and recommend it to all.
Other reviews sold this to me as non-fiction written in so engaging a manner as to beggar belief. The historical figures are brought to life and the Mongol cultural revelations are shattering!
Right. I now suspect these reviewers also enjoy curling up with a good technical manual after a long day.
Actually, that may not be fair. I enjoy fascinating and didactic non-fiction, but I think this has taught me that it's got to be a subject for which I have a predilection. For me, the book seemed dry. Perhaps if you enjoy anthropology...
A thorough, easy to understand biography of one of the most important figures in history. Not really very much information on the 'Making of the modern world' part. The ideals the author credits Temujin and his successors with are abstractions that come from a very idealized view of the culture.While the Mongols have an excessive reputation for brutality, they were not the noble and fair-minded people the author would have you believe either.
No. The writing is drab and he shows incredible bias in his opinions.
The biography is very lop-sided and presents an incredibly biased view of all the positive things about the Mongol culture. It ignores or minimizes many of the negative aspects of their way of life.