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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Audiobook

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Autodidact New York 06-21-12
    Autodidact New York 06-21-12 Member Since 2008

    Library wall

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating little known history"
    What did you love best about Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

    The notion of the Mongols as a dirty band of marauders; an unfortunately rapacious blip on the screen of history was dispelled completely. I want to be a Mongol!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Genghis for his clarity of thought and his expansive view of the world. His ecumenical understanding and desire for peace, intellectual development and family ties above all.


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

    Clear strong delivery Excellent pacing


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I would take it from the interview..".Imagine that an illiterate slave became the leader of the modern world"


    Any additional comments?

    I think this should be required reading in public schools. Inspiring, enlightening and fascinating

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kevmoo United States 06-17-12
    kevmoo United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2015

    I live in Seattle. I write code. I listen when I'm out with the dog.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating. Will change your view of history."

    Genghis Khan was far more civilized than most Europeans of his age. He was just a much better military strategist.

    Essential for a non-Eurocentric view of world history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 03-26-12
    Richard 03-26-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Revisionist History of the Mongols"
    What made the experience of listening to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World the most enjoyable?

    Jack Weatherford carefully researched Genghis Khan from the perspective of the Mongols. His revisionist history crediting Genghis for separation of Church and State, Diplomacy and the birth of the Renaissance seems to take the historical narritive too far. Having said that, the conventional depiction of the Mongol empire as a ravishing dark chaotic evil hoard needed poking. A very compelling narrative that reads like a novel. The truth is more compelling than fiction. Great read


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Kfar Saba, Israel 11-20-11
    David Kfar Saba, Israel 11-20-11

    An avid audio fan, I listen mainly whilst walking my dog. I enjoy many and varied subjects,history,travel,espionage,crime,anything good

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mixed feelings"

    I am not really sure how I feel about this book.I did enjoy listening,and the narration was good.But I don't know whether this was a scholarly work,or a popular one.
    There are lots of dates,names of exotic people and places,but I still don't know enough about the Mongols.
    I do not feel that the author really proved Genghiz Khans' having "made" the modern world.If we accept the authors interpretation,then he certainly was very enlightened,and revolutionary in his politics,law-making etc., but then again so were so many others on the stage of world history.
    I did very much enjoy the epilogue and afterword,which were narrated,I think.by the author.
    All in all,worth listening to,but I feel that something was missing in order to get me inspired by Genghiz Khan

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-06-11
    06-06-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Who Knew?"

    This audio book really opened my eyes to a figure in history that I knew of but overlooked. The more I listened, the more I was in awe of his accomplishments. I had no idea how influential the Mongol civilization was on world history.

    Perhaps the best part was at the end when the author educates the listeners as to why Mongol history has been so marginalized in the west.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 05-03-11
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 05-03-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW~"

    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!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Strathfield, Australia 03-25-11
    Ben Strathfield, Australia 03-25-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Mind blowing"

    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.
    Highly recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 03-14-11
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 03-14-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Challenges long-held perceptions of the Khans"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 03-05-11
    Chris 03-05-11
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    "Don't Miss the Afterword!"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Groton, MA, United States 12-29-10
    Theresa Groton, MA, United States 12-29-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting & so informative"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Simone
    CambridgeUnited Kingdom
    6/30/10
    Overall
    "Amazing! Wonderful! Couldn't get enough!"

    I stumbled onto this one by chance, and quickly grew to love it -- who'd ever know that much about the Mongols and how they changed the world? Years of research have gone into this book, and it shows. The 'Secret History', an original Mongol document about Gengis Khan's life, only became available for researchers quite recently, so there is now a wealth of brand new information. Many surprises, many really astonishing facts are waiting for the listener! The prose is at the right pace, not patronizing, not too scientific. One can also feel how much the author simply loves Mongolia... Good reader too. I simply couldn't get enough and was thirsting for more when it was over. I am now going to read his other books...

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Philip Heydebreck
    1/25/15
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    "Liked it so much I didn't want it to end"
    Would you listen to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World again? Why?

    I actually already did start to listen to it again. This book is so packed full of interesting stories and information, I found it hard to retain them all from one listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

    I never thought a history book would keep me so entertained and interested. This one certainely did, the story of Gengis Kahn and his sucessors is told so well it almost reads like a novel. I loved the way this book changed my understanding of world history, illustrating the impact of the mongol empire on the world.


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

    Despite being packed with historical information, place names, dates and significant people, this book does not read like a history book at all. The story flows incredibly well and keeps you coming back for more. The reader has a voice that is very nice to listen to, becomes noticable when the reader changes for the afteroword.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't say "moved" but I did get excited about this book and recommended it to friends and family.


    Any additional comments?

    The ultimate measure of a non-fiction book must be if it changes the way you think and see the world. This one absolutely changed my understanding of history.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Scythian
    11/24/15
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    "A book that fully illustrates the power of history"

    This is fascinating interpretation of the history of the Mongol empire and it's Khans, particularly Genghis Khan and their influence, direct or otherwise, to the modern world, and long overdue recognition of its contribution to the modern western world.
    This, to me, illustrates the importance of history, and how from it we learn to understand more of what we have now, and could have in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing the world from a different perspective.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    4/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best book I may have ever read."

    Jack Weatherford actually makes you feel like you are there, unseen as you witness history unfold. I didn't know we owe so much of our modern culture and way of thinking to the Mongals. Such a terrific story. I'm quite sad now that I've finished the book.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    7/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Serendipity is a builder of history."

    Avery interesting book with many interesting facts, and ideas, at the very end it showed the author a little too enamored with the nationalistic ideas of a mongolian empire, but it is explainable as a found respect for a people that have been maligned by history and politicians to a point that is quite surprising but understandable in a world where nationalism is the norm and for the most part the imparter of truth for the masses. This book ask us to wake up and burst the bubble of our culture, join the multiverse, the rich tapestry of human history.

    A story that adds to what is generally known and changes what is accepted by giving a new perspective.
    We learn history in sectional bits, and always as presented by the nation and culture we belong to, so as we read and learn we segment sets of ideas and ideologies of a time and place as unique examples, especially if we do not read a lot or let others explain history with a decided coloration of their point of view, this is why it is important to explore different angles of a period to get a glimpse of past that is less colored by the ideas of one person, past periods or the period you live in; morals and beliefs are not permanent or historically kind to the truth, they are tinted lenses that hide facts to promote their point, because we all live in a reality and culture that it is constantly trying to submerge us in its momentary truth.

    Many people have become absolute history masochist and blame all wrongs in the world to our western culture as if all other cultures had no consequence except as victims of our history; in reality we are but a small part of human history and our place in that history is not assured or permanent. We learn more of our history because that is the natural way to connect us to our culture, customs and laws, and because we are a culture that examines and is self critically we tend to amplify our importance and guilt, as this book will plainly demonstrate. With lessons in what an amazing people achieved with limited technology, and how time and politics have distorted their culture and history to a point of near oblivion.
    Some of their developments are still with us but silenced by time and the negation of their importance by other cultures and political interest, like the interest of the soviet union and now russia a power that has no scruples in protecting and creating a narrative convenient to its needs, by suppressing the history of the Mongols to this day, or china that has similar interest politically and historically. Also the very success of the this people of the plains still instigates a bit of fear. They subjugated Muslims, christians, buddhist, and animist while expanding in all directions, their methods of war are still relevant, and so should it be with their intense promotion of commerce among different peoples and cultures.

    Genghis Khan was but a beginning for a Mongol expansion that lasted through generations with all the ups and downs of human made plans, but maintaining enough momentum to rule a great chunk of the world.

    A non apologetic look at an empire that changed the world and is still influencing the present.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Tristan Fisher
    1/30/16
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    "An excellent history."

    Starting and focusing on the life of Genghis Khan this book manages to give a insightful look at the rise and eventual fall of the mongol empire founded by Genghis Khan.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • David Jackson
    9/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "simply amazing"

    I thought I knew something about the Mongol Empire. I was wrong. This book has shown me the richness of the legacy of an empire that changed the course of all of world history in infinite ways but of which my education has taught me next to nothing. I am incredibly thankful for having come across this book.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • 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 9 people found this review helpful
  • Y. Syed
    Somewhere in Internet Land
    6/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent and honest account"

    Learned a great deal from this.
    So much about this period was completely unknown to me; it is great to fill in a few of the gaps.
    My views on both Genghis Khan and the Mongols has changed, greatly.
    Looking forward to reading more around this subject.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mukesh
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    6/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I really did not know much about Genghis Khan and this book was brilliant in teaching me something. The narrator was so impressive. It is one of the best books that I have listened to.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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