The writer borrows much of his information regarding the individual from the "Secret History". This is woven into a well thought out compilation of believed true instances corroborated with other historical sources. It's an educational and entertaining listen.
Weatherford corrects my views of Ghengis Khan. I had been the victim of listening to the views of such biased authors for too many years. It is well worth the read/listen. Hopefully, the contents will end up in more secondary sources and texts.
What a indictment of my Euro-centric education that much of the material in Weatherford's book was a revelation to me. I was glued to my I-pod.
The book was well researched and thorough and the reader was very good. With that said you can sense that the writer had a little bias (I call it a man-crush) on Gengis Kahn and attributed the Mongol Empire as having developing the modern world short of landing on the moon and the invention of the computer. The real truth is that the Mongols contributed nothing but terror to the people of the dark ages and enslaved the masons, astrologist, scientists and craftsman of races with superior intellect (Chinese, Persians, Eastern Europeans, etc) and attributed their inventions and contributions to society to the Mongols who ruled (or payed tribute to) the lands by threat of death. The real truth is that if 30 million innocent citizens were not attacked, these contributions would have occurred naturally.
It sounds like I'm attacking the author, but I'm not. I highly recommend this book. He did a great job, it is just readily apparent he had a skewed view of what he calls "The great leader" and even visited his grave to pay homage and shed some tears (in his own words). Gengis Kahn was no more than murderous thug who invented perhaps the first ponzi scheme: He would take a handfull of warriors to a village and pillage all of their goods and tell the males to join his clan or die. Then he would have more warriors to attack the next larger village until he had an army of hundreds of thousands where he attacked major cities. Once his army got too large to manage, his successors lost hold and the scheme fell apart.
Yes..... with a warning.
An interesting compliation of information
Nay... too long
Mr Weatherford drank the Mongolian Kool-aid. He, quite evidently was swept away with the lore of the Mongols. That is very evident in the telling, after the book, of his visit to Mongol lands and his mystical fascination with Ghengis and all things Mongolian. His premise that Ghengis Kahn and subsequent generationsof Kahns formed the basis of just about everything of value that the world has ever come to know and have is a rediculous stretch. He just got carried away with his premise and lost sight of reality. Much that is speculation is presented as fact. Much that clearly was presented as fact by Mongolian and others who 'chronicled' the times (surely under a LOT of pressure to put Ghengis and bands 'best foot forward') is presented as indisputable fact. His not too hidden agenda that all but the Mongols were fools and near or outright barbarians with little to offer the world but oppression is absurd. He has great respect for the Mongols 'blue sky' religion and presents, not too subtly, Christianity as stupid, oppressive and its followers as uninsightful and ignoble. Yet, in spite of all that, it really IS a good book. Readers are advised to just be sure to 'read between the lines' and form YOUR OWN conclusions....watch out for his conclusions. I recommend it.
Say something about yourself!
Seemed to have a agenda, glossed over Mongol negatives like the Millions of deaths to highlight supposed benefits to "society later" . Very little said about the genocide in China and what the extent of the horror inflicted on Baghdad, and the Christians were blamed for the worst of what happened in Baghdad.
A very good subject and I want to read more, but more balanced good and bad.
I love to read audiobooks!
The author's bias against organized religion is palpable and distracts from an otherwise interesting historical narrative. The Mongols were violent people. So too were many other societies.
This is not the first Audible book about Genghis Khan I have purchased and read. The other one was very interesting, and I am so glad I bought it first. Keep in mind, I am smiling while I write this because of the irony of the thing. if I had bought this book first, I would never, ever have revisited Genghis again. This book, however accurate it may be, is the bloodiest, most graphic description of horror upon horror inflicted on the world population by a single human being.
I did not realize that Genghis Khan's era was in the 12th-13th centuries. That's fairly recent in human history. Ole Genghis started out in Mongolia and eventually marched himself right across Russia right on to Europe's doorstep. According to Weatherford, he was a despot and enjoyed subjugating Christians, Jews, and anyone else he took a disliking to. Geez, where was the plague when we needed it?
Jack Weatherford tells the story of this cruel and inhumane ruler well -- almost too well, as a matter of fact. I suppose I could have gone on with my peripheral knowledge of the man and left it at that, but now, I think Genghis was much, much worse than Hitler. I am of the mind that every monument to him should be bulldozed, every history book should be expunged and humanity should go onward without being reminded that such a being ever existed.
If you like gore and like to read about human misery, by all means get this book! The narrator is great. He drops all this vileness in your lap like he's describing a picnic in the park. I should like to hear him read something not quite so ghastly. There is a lot of animation in his voice. He's good,
In closing, I can't say I didn't like the book. I learned a lot listening to it. You know, some things are hard to hear, but there is a message in there somewhere. I hope that future generations never fall into the mindless hopelessness of a creature like Genghis. Maybe reading stuff like this will scare us enough to keep that from happening,