We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Audiobook

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.
Regular Price:$28.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege. From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.

Listen to An Interview with Author Jack Weatherford.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2005 Jack Weatherford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"With appreciative descriptions of the sometimes tender tyrant, this chronicle supplies just enough personal and world history to satisfy any reader." (Publishers Weekly)

"There is very little time for reading in my new job. But of the few books I've read, my favourite is Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. It's a fascinating book portraying Genghis Khan in a totally new light. It shows that he was a great secular leader, among other things." (Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India)

"Weatherford's admiration for Genghis and his firsthand knowledge of many of the sites important in Mongol history give this text an immediacy and a visual quality that are enhanced by Davis’s presentation. When the narrative begins to lag in its final hour or two as it moves farther from the twelfth century, Davis's crisp pace maintains the listener’s interest to the end. An informative and provocative work of popular history." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6377 )
5 star
 (3245)
4 star
 (2126)
3 star
 (736)
2 star
 (185)
1 star
 (85)
Overall
4.4 (4712 )
5 star
 (2676)
4 star
 (1385)
3 star
 (479)
2 star
 (113)
1 star
 (59)
Story
4.3 (4691 )
5 star
 (2406)
4 star
 (1631)
3 star
 (521)
2 star
 (92)
1 star
 (41)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Peter Sparks, MD, USA 03-05-10
    Peter Sparks, MD, USA 03-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."

    What a comprehensive and fascinating detailed history of the great Khans. Weatherford's mastery as a researcher is on full display and is truly up to the task of investigating and sharing the incredible evidence he witnessed being uncovered. The performance is also brilliant. Just to hear the reader pronounce so many names which are difficult to pronounce and read in English with so much confidence, clarity, precision and consistency is worth the price of admission alone. To me this book is a high water mark for its combination of content, performance and new information. Its an instant classic highly recommended. Flawless.

    83 of 84 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 03-21-10
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 03-21-10 Member Since 2016

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5122
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1456
    466
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1276
    9
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    Western histories tend to avoid this bit - this book fixes that big time. It is a history, but with about as much characterization as is possible. It is filled with details and I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history. The story is filled with action and intrigue, technology and religion, war and even a little peace. It is more than just the novelty that makes this a wonderful listen, it is the story and the characters.

    108 of 112 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Tucson, AZ, United States 03-17-10
    Renee Tucson, AZ, United States 03-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "A passionate, eye-opening chunk of history"

    The writer, Weatherford, is not what you'd call a great prose stylist, but the story he tells is stunning, and he did all the leg-work. His heart is in it. If you want to know how the modern world was born, listen to this.

    Davis' narration is thrilling. Loved it all.

    61 of 64 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara San Rafael, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-02-11
    Barbara San Rafael, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Fantastic!"

    I got this audiobook because it won a best listen award and I figured, what did I have to lose? I was not disappointed. I am now a self-proclaimed Ghengis Kahn-aphile. It was a fantastic gym/work/commute listen. I have recommended it to pretty much anyone who will listen to me ramble on about how much of what we have accomplished and take for granted in our modern world actually originated centuries ago from the vision, actions, and genius of one (what we would call uneducated) man. I have even downloaded this audiobook to my dad's iPod, for which as far as I'm concerned, is the reason we have iPods. It's not every day you come across something that changes and enlightens your perspective of the world you live in and I thank Mr. Weatherford for compiling this compelling biography of this mysterious man. I think I may press play and listen to it again right now.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 06-01-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 06-01-10 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4976
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    372
    213
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2332
    13
    Overall
    "A Classic"

    Tolerant, wise, enlightened, brilliant outside of war... hardly adjectives to describe the historical figure we have come to know as Genghis Khan. Yet this is only the surface of the positive attributes described by Jack Weatherford. Genghis Khan was one who lived in the 12th century but had so much to contribute to the modern world it is really quite unbelievable. Genghis Khan’s people came from within tribes to successfully govern over and administer to a land-mass of cities, states and countries greater than no other in history.

    I was brought up on black and white TV watching cowboys and Indians. Like everyone else of my generation, we were taught the Indians were savage and barbaric... not too unlike what we are taught about the Mongolian people. Perhaps there have been others but this was my first read revisionist history to lend some balance about another tribe of People who have been so long persecuted even to this day.

    For me the book had just enough about the military campaigns to reveal that aspect of of Genghis Kahn without overshadowing all of his contributions and what exactly the entire world was like back then. The book is so relevant for today’s world. This is a book about history, literature, religion, philosophy and of course cultural anthropology. The balance of all things in this book were exquisite.

    For me this was an incredible book, scholarly written and beautifully narrated.

    55 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 05-13-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 05-13-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    336
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    450
    106
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We Owe an Awful Lot to the Mongolian Empire"

    This is a book that can and should read by everyone, at least all with the slightest interest in world history. I feel this so adamantly since what it tells us does away with serious misconceptions about the Mongol Empire. It explains in a clear and comprehensible manner how the world we live in today has been improved by Mongol practices. It is stated that the book is revisionary, but I believe wholeheartedly in what we are told. It is clear and thoroughly documented. What we are told just plain makes sense! The author is a cultural anthropologist and historian.

    The book begins with a discussion about the life of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), follows his successors, offering detailed information both about Kublai Khan and powerful women of the clan, discussing the formation of the Mongol nation in 1206, the squabbling that arose between the successive leaders and concludes with a convincing analysis of how the Mongol Empire has influenced today’s world.

    We all think of the Mongols as barbarians that wrought havoc on the world. Few of us are aware of how they opened the world to commerce. They opened new trade routes, not only of physical goods but for the transmission of ideas and cultures. I am daunted because I cannot adequately express how this book has so changed how I view world history. I used to praise the new ideas espoused during the Enlightenment, but did you know that Voltaire drew a picture of the savage, blood-thirsty Mongols that served their own purposes and created a one-sided view that hid the truth. Chaucer praised Genghis Kahn and Marco Polo did the same for Kublai Kahn; When Christopher Columbus sailed west it was to look for Cathay, to reconnect with the fantastic trade routes established by the Mongols. I could go on and on showing how what we have been told about these so-called barbarians just doesn’t quite add up! What is explained here in this book makes sense and it changes how we understand today’s modern world.

    Did you know that Genghis Kahn made the capital of his Chinese Empire present day Beijing in 1266 and that that the Forbidden City was a huge park filled with wild animals where the Mongol leaders lived in ghers/yurts? Here in this enclosed area the Mongol leaders lived according to their own Mongol traditions. They ate their traditional foods, ate with knives, which the Chinese found abhorrent, drank fermented mare’s milk and practiced their own sports and games, so foreign to the Chinese culture around them. Did you know that “hooray” is based on a Mongol expression of exuberance? Did you know that Columbus called the red-skinned natives he encountered when he landed on the islands off the American mainland Indians because he thought he had met up with the Mongols living south of the Chinese Mongols, the Mongols of India? That is why Native Americans originally were called Indians. There is so much in this book that makes sense, it is like putting together all the pieces of a puzzle and everything fits!

    Kublai Kahn supported universal education with classes held in the colloquial language. Paper money was invented by the Chinese, but he saw its practicality and radically expanded its usage. Under his rule China attained its Golden Age of Drama. Medical knowledge, textile production, printing techniques, basically all areas of knowledge that were practical and useful were supported and transported to new areas around the world. Under the Mongol rule there was religious freedom. In the 1200s, think of that!

    I listened to the audiobook narrated by Jonathan Davis. His pronunciation of Mongol terms is clear. The pacing is perfect. This is essential in a book of non-fiction. Along with the download one is given pdf files of maps and diagrams. One difficulty that I had, when I searched on the net for further information, was that often more than one name was used for the same person. It is also difficult to recognize Mongol names. This is easier if you can both see and hear them.

    It is time that we begin to acknowledge the good things Genghis Kahn and Kublai Kahn have given us. Read this book and you will stop using the word “Mongolian” as a word of slander.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lee California 06-01-12
    J. Lee California 06-01-12 Member Since 2016

    Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    83
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    85
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning News! Great story."

    It is hard to believe that we were taught so little about such a major part of our worlds history. I guess that can be partly attributed to the fear that the powers had of even the story of such a man as Genghis Khan. I loved every minute of this book. It reads more like a novel than history. I hope that this will filter down into our education system as it is important to know the hands that shaped our world into what it is today. Genghis Khan was one of the most influential of those hands. Excellent book. Highly recommended.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 12-11-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 12-11-13 Member Since 2012

    Semper Audiendo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8761
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    297
    297
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4524
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Golden Horde/Platinum Listen"

    Universal free education. Widespread literacy. Secular government. Freedom of religion. Ambassadors from other countries. Translators and interpreters. Diplomatic immunity. A consumer-driven economy. Free trade agreements. Huge technological advances in communications. Paper money based on precious metals and gem reserves. Pensions for military veterans, and lifelong benefits for survivors of those killed in action. Support for scholars. Doctors and lawyers. Laws that applied equally to the rulers as well as the ruled. A Supreme Court. Meticulous record keeping, using complex mathematics and calculators. Multiculturalism. An empire bigger than North and Central America, combined.

    The Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and his grandson, Kubla Khan - and lesser known Great Khans - was astonishingly advanced, especially in contrast to Europe, which at the time, was mired in futile attempts - The Crusades - to 'free' the Holy Lands from Muslims.

    I knew that Genghis Khan was an innovative military leader who both invented and eschewed conventional warfare. Genghis Khan created the "decimal" system of soldiers of 10 soldiers to a 'squad', which is still used in modern military. A 'company' was 10 squads; a battalion was 10 'companies' . . . and so on. The term "decimal" is author Jack Weatherford's term; the other terms are mine, analogizing to modern military organizational structure. At the same time, Genghis Khan used innovative military weapons - including gun powder - and improved on existing weapons. His tactics - like waging war on multiple fronts, feinting defeat, and skilled infiltrators - are common today, but unique 900 years ago. Psychological warfare was a key part of Genghis Khan's military success - he encouraged stories of Mongol brutality and ruthlessness to encourage surrender.

    Until I listened to Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" (2004), I had no idea who Genghis Khan was, beyond his military skill. I spent a good part of the book wondering why, with advanced courses in European, Chinese and Russian history, I had essentially missed a crucial empire. In the Afterward, I found out: I am too old.

    During China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) a Chinese/Mongolian version of "The Secret History of the Mongols" (~1240, author unknown) was used to teach Chinese scholars the Mongolian language. It gradually stopped being used, and by the 19th century, there were very few copies. The first definitive English translation was Harvard-Yenching Institute's translation (Francis Woodman Cleaves, 1982). Urgunge Onon's 2001 translation is much more readable. Both are scholarly, often cited works. From 1924 to 1990, the Soviet Union controlled Mongolia and did its best to eradicate evidence of other civilizations, and kept the rest of the world from the country. Exactly who Genghis Khan was, how the Mongol Empire started, and how it thrived was hidden for almost 700 years.

    Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" opened a new civilization and a new perspective for me. Definitely worth the listen.

    [If this review helped please press YES. Thanks!]

    129 of 142 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Gosford, NSW, Australia 03-27-10
    Michael Gosford, NSW, Australia 03-27-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Superb History"

    This book was extremely interesting and informative. It filled in the missing gaps of my personal history knowledge. The style is fluid and easy to follow and the reader has a very pleasant and soothing voice.
    Fantastic read or listen. Highly recommend.

    48 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Encinitas, CA, United States 05-10-10
    Andrew Encinitas, CA, United States 05-10-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Chills"

    I listen to audiobooks commuting to and from work and until Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World never had listened to one that actually kept me in the car for longer than necessary. I'd be idling for extended time while it got later and later listening to this incredible work.

    The narration is great and the story is spellbinding. I bought the book on a whim and have no regrets.

    The first half is much better than the second half, but I enjoyed the story immensely from start to finish and highly recommend.

    47 of 52 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but only half of it useful"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I bought this book wanting to learn about Genghis Khan. Unfortunately only the first half of the book discusses him and the second part is about Kubel Khan and other leaders. I was disappointed the first half was not longer as this is what I wanted to read about. I feel this is not made clear in the book description.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas Bennett
    Caernarfon, Gwynedd United Kingdom
    8/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly recommended"

    Fantastic book, very well researched and balanced. An essential read to all people interested in world history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Goldie
    5/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't put it down"

    really interesting insight. highly recommended lots of fascinating insight and detailed analysis. so good will listen again in 6 months

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    GB
    5/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An amazing insight into the culture"
    Would you listen to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World again? Why?

    I am very likely to listen to this book again. I also bought an e-book version and I am going through it for reference.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Genghis Khan, of course.


    What about Jack Weatherford and Jonathan Davis ’s performance did you like?

    They did a great job. As Jonathan Davis was the one main narrator, I have to vote for him as a superb interpreter of this kind of book.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It would be an excellent documentary, but I would expect it to be longer, perhaps done in series, to grasp the vastness of the topic.


    Any additional comments?

    I can compare the book to The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by the same author. I think the two books should be sold as twin as they both describe the period from a slightly different point of view.
    Genghis Khan is divided into three parts - first one deals with Temujin's childhood and youth a tries to explain the forthcoming events. Second one emphasizes on raise of Genghis Khan and his conquering successes. Third part talks about Genghis Khan's descendants, of Mongols' cultural and political impact on the rest of the known world and also very briefly peeps inside the modern age.
    Jack Weatherford is a renowned scholar with deep insight into the region's history, acknowledged among researchers of both, West and East. He uses as basis for the book only recently found and translated The Secret History of the Mongols, a historical document that provides valuable account of Genghis Khan's life and of early beginnings of the Mongol empire. Thanks to his personal experience with the region Weatherford is able to grasp different aspects of foregone era and the present world and to connect them into a comprehensive whole.
    I can recommend the book to anybody interested in the topic as well as to the ones for whom the Far East history is a novelty. It is partly biography partly history and the way it is written kept me looking forward to my next listening time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Danny
    5/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating and exciting"

    Incredible, fast paced history of the Mongolian empire and its influence over the world. Well presented, very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    4/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic history of a long maligned people!"

    A really excellent book that utterly reshapes what you think of the Mongols, which have been become the epitome of evil barbarism in pretty much every culture around the world, but were actually for the most part liberal rulers valuing trade and innovation. And through the movement of ideas that the pax mongolica allowed, helped to kick start the renaissance in Europe and by extension the world as we know it today.

    The performance by the reader was very good, the most calmly spoken American I have ever heard!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frankieg3
    Walton-on-the-Naze, United Kingdom
    4/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good in Parts"

    I was really looking forward to this as I was in Mongolia last year. I expected a book on Genghis Kahn but only got half a book as the second half was about his grandson. This could have been two books with the first half expanded as parts felt very sketchy.

    It was really shown up because I followed it with SPQR by Mary Beard. Now there is a stonkingly good history book.

    The narrators did very well as they kept me awake at a couple of points when I would have gone to sleep.

    If I had paid full price for this it would have been sent back, fortunately I got in on the daily deal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    4/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A history book, not a story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. There is too much covered too fast and if you can't take it all in the rest doesn't make a lot of sense


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes, though it's a bit flat.


    Did Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World inspire you to do anything?

    return the book for a refund


    Any additional comments?

    I've read the Conn Iggulden Gengis series of books that fictionalise the story and if Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World did one thing, it confirmed how accuratly Conn Iggulden told the story, and how much better it is to get the histroy as a story rather than a text book.
    This book rushes the most exciting parts of the story that Conn Iggulden focussed on. Gengis's invasion of China is covered in a matter of minutes. Gengis dies before you get half way through the book and test is about his ancestors... ok they are as important to the Mongol story as Gengis but not what the title of the book says it is about.
    Generally, if you know nothing about Gengis Khan and like history you'll enjoy this book. But if you know some Mongol history already, this won't tell you anything new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Piotr Skup
    4/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average really"
    Any additional comments?

    On the whole, the book seems somewhat shallow. It doesn't go deep enough, remains rather superficial, contains a few factual errors and the pronounciation is often incorrect. I certainly expected more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Palyon
    4/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic story."

    My perception of a barbarian has been tempered with new knowledge of all the modern things we do and use that came from this era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.