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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World | [Jack Weatherford]

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.
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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

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Tom Minnetonka, MN, United States 02-20-11
    Tom Minnetonka, MN, United States 02-20-11 Member Since 2009
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    "should be required reading"

    He brought technology to Europe (the printing press) and the Frogs used the press to rewrite history labeling them Mongolian idiots. Weatherford says Genghis was not a religious man. All I can say is somebody was whispering in his ear.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Humberto United States 04-09-11
    Humberto United States 04-09-11 Member Since 2010
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    "man o man"

    Man o man did this guy have it down or what, everything he does it for our own good this is the way.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 05-26-12
    Tim United States 05-26-12 Member Since 2010

    Not a mainstream reader.

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    "Bias Point of View"

    There is no doubt that I learned more in 14 hours than a semester in college. The story of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World is great, but I really have my doubts because the author seems to make Mongols to have no harm and no foul. I found the book to be extremely bias to Genghis Khan and his people, but yet there is very little information on the man.

    It just seems like Genghis Khan was a good guy that wouldn't hurt a fly, but conquered more through his successors.

    It didn't make sense.

    The performance of the narrator was not good. There were times where I fell asleep because of the monotone voice.

    I have no more interest on this subject.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Loudon, TN, United States 07-11-14
    Phil Loudon, TN, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Felt like propaganda."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. It feels like it's not really well researched, or that the author used too few sources. It just didn't feel "authentic".


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jack Weatherford? Why or why not?

    Maybe.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    Some folks might, and obviously do, like this book. I just felt like I was hearing legends and folk tales instead of scholarship.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Richardson, TX United States 06-18-14
    Diane Richardson, TX United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2013

    diane

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    "Graphic, Stomach Turning Violence"
    Would you try another book from Jack Weatherford and/or Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford ?

    Yes


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Left out most of the graphic, gory descriptions of violence. I'm sure it was all an accurate description of the depravity of that era but it was a bit much for me.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    It was fine


    Could you see Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Probably as the general public love to see blood and gore.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a fascinating history of Genghis Khan and the period. However, interesting though it was, I could not stomach the graphic descriptions of the horrible atrocities the various tribes did to their enemies. I was not able to finish listening. It kept getting worse and worse.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Unhappy Sirius Camper Bay Area, CA 04-11-14
    Unhappy Sirius Camper Bay Area, CA 04-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Desperately in need of an editor and objectivity."
    What disappointed you about Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

    Completely lacking in any hint of objectivity. Slavish devotion to and awe of Genghis Khan causes me to suspect most of the claims made by the author. Further, the book was ridiculously and unnecessarily long. It just kept going and going, making the same points over and over and over. Then we get a 70 minute epilogue that restates the entire book again! I genuinely believe that the author somehow got this published without review by an editor, or his editor was afraid to trim a single word.

    The author relies essentially on two source documents, the rest is conjecture and hyperbole.


    Has Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I love non-fiction, particularly history. And there's so much potential in this story. So, it doesn't "turn me off from the genre" but I know now to run away from future books by this author.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Bland. Like hearing someone narrate a recipe.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

    The book could have been 50% shorter without detracting from it. Make an interesting point and then move on. Don't congratulate yourself by making the EXACT SAME POINT 5 to 10 more times.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't believe I stuck with the book all the way to the end. It was like a marathon-I just wanted to see if I had the fortitude to finish it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13 Member Since 2007
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    "An amazing man and the empire he built"
    Any additional comments?

    Genghis Khan was not who you think. At least, he wasn't who *I* thought he was.

    I was unaware of most of the historical and cultural facts presented in this book, and found them fascinating. The book spends too much time detailing tortures and killings for my taste, but otherwise I found it entertaining and educational in a good way. The reader was a bit too dry for my taste, droning on about "forest products" like the narrator of a classroom geography film from the mid-1960s. But he wasn't a deal-killer, and the history was interesting enough for me to stick with it all the way through.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna A. Higgins Prairie du Chien, WI United States 10-17-13
    Donna A. Higgins Prairie du Chien, WI United States 10-17-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A loser"
    Any additional comments?

    I sure can't echo the positive reviews on this book. The first half of the book is about the life of Genghis Khan, himself. That was moderately interesting (but not great).
    It's the second half of the book where this falls apart. The second half deals with the aftermath of Genghis Khan's death. The author tries to cover a huge swath of history in too brief a fashion. It's like reading the Cliff Notes of a history book.
    I gave up about 1/3 through the second half and didn't even finish!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Ithaca, NY, United States 07-31-13
    Bruce Ithaca, NY, United States 07-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Story great; major flaw in organization of audio"

    As others have noted, the story is dramatic, the writing great, the narrative well done. (Some scholars and critics have questioned the overall perspective, but there's no serious question about the scholarship.)

    My concern is with the organization of the audio. The "introduction" to the paper book appears as an "afterword" in the audio, at the end of the reading. This is a MAJOR flaw, because the introduction explains much about how the author can know things about Genghis Khan, particularly the history of something called "The Secret History." After my wife and I had listened to the first hour or two, we were thoroughly confused about the references to The Secret History. We finally stopped at a bookstore, looked at the paper book, and discovered the introduction. Only when I got to the end of the audio did I find the paper "introduction" added as an "afterword."

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Austin, TX, United States 02-11-13
    Patrick Austin, TX, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011

    I like autumn night times. Curtains drawn. The dim lamp. Chaired with a book. Fireside hours. A warm peace.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nothing to rave about, but still a learning lesson"

    The beginning starts out fairly interesting. It highlights the more interesting aspects of the Genghis Khan (GK) history, however, the writing seems to blend together in the second half. While approaching the end of the book, the author's language seemed as though he was running out of things to say and just decided mix in "the modern world" hence the title. He points out an obvious fact, one thing leads to another. Yes, GK did have a huge influence on Central Asian culture, but so did many other rulers that came before him as well. (i.e. Alexander the Great) It seemed as though the further I got into the book, the more I realized that it's a BASIC (although interesting) history lesson on GK.

    Unlike some other reviewers who raved about this, I can't say that I "couldn't put this book down" or it's "a superb piece of writing." After completing this, I will say that I know much more NOW about GK & the Mongols than BEFORE. That's what I took away from it, which is better than not learning anything at all. Overall: Not bad, but nothing spectacular either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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