Don't need to. I have seen a 13 episode documentary on the Khan, but this book fleshed everything out for me. Very pitiful today that many people don't understand what influence the past has on us all. Should be required reading in high school.
All the contributions made by the Khan that affect our everyday lives like paper money,post offices, gun powder, public education, etc. a mind blower.
I always love to listen to a book read by people who have enthusiasm for the subject matter. When I begin to not notice the narrator but just the subject matter, that is a reflection of the quality of the reader. Just enjoyed the whole experience.
Too long. I listen to recorded books in spurts as I am doing somthing else. I listen in my car as well.
Wouldn't have been listening to this book until it was offered on sale. I am in a bit of a person in a rut when listening for pleasure. Nice tomhave my tree shaken occasionally.
I would listen again because it is easy to follow and intriguingly told. It is revealed in themes, rather than in strict chronological order, so it draws you in. I listen while at the gym, exercising my brain while I work on the body.
Jack Weatherford puts Mongolian history into perspective in an reasoned and logical way. The narrator Jonathan Davis breathes life into characters and an empire that other imperial nations have sought to diminish. I was completely ignorant of this area of history. The Mongol empire planted many seeds of liberal socialism for large communities which have been adopted in Europe and beyond.
The narration in this book was great. I admittedly skipped the section ready by the author as Jonathan Davis had done such a great job with the rest of the book. The ending of the book did lose a little focus I thought, but overall a great book about a subject I know little.
Hi. My name is Mann & I am an Enterprise Communications expert by profession. I have always loved reading books and primarily enjoy books on Finance, Science & Technology and History. I do hear an occasional Fictional book though I prefer to read them instead.
I like reading history as it teaches fill in so many blanks in our understanding. This book tells the story of world's greatest conqueror. We all have been largely mis-fed about Genghis Khan and Mongols in all. They have been showcased in the contemporary media as merciless conquerors with not civility. The books will surprise you with the progressive steps Mongols took under Genghis Khan's rule.
Some of the striking legacies of Genghis Khan's Mongol empire are:
- Segregating of state and religion
- Merit bases society and administration
- Supremacy of law. Even the ruler was subject to the same law under Mongol empire.
- Diplomatic immunity
- Secular society
- Paper based currency by Kublai Khan (Genghis Khan's grandson). He also unified the China as we know today.
And of course Mongols were supreme military strategist and warriors who conquered everything between China and central Europe.
I am following this book with Civilization, which furthers the story from 15'th century onwards and saw emergence of the West above the Asians.
Interestingly, the West drew heavily on Mongol innovations which ultimately triggered the Renaissance in Europe.
I loved the epilogue where the author kinda summarizes Genghis Khan's tale and the efforts put in collating all this information. The book spans across 3 centuries of Mongol empire and would have required immense amount of research to test the veracity of different interpretations.
I loved both of them. They brought to life such a remarkable story which is portrayed so wrongly in contemporary media.
This book is a very interesting study.
The fact that he only ever went into 1 building in his life.
This is a great character study of a fascinating person in history. You get to see where he came from and what made him the person he was.
Great listen on so many levels
None I know of but this is first time reading this sort of book
The end was very interesting
Its great that the author took us to current event. Mind blowing :)
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.