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.
©2005 Jack Weatherford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"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)
I feel so incredibly enriched by this book
Horrified to have been so ignorant about so much history
And like all great books it makes me want more.
The narrator does a great job of taking Weatherford's words and putting the reader on the steppe with Genghis Khan and takes the reader on a journey through the time of the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire.
This is really my first historical audio-book so I have nothing to compare to from that angle, however for some reason I was constantly reminded of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel while listening to this book. I think the main reason for that was because my takeaway from Diamond's book was a highlight of Westernization and I felt excuses were made for other parts of the world not succeeding and thriving, yet the Mongol Empire is an affront to that opinion.
Davis just does an amazing job of adding so much passion and feeling for this story particularly during pivotal moments throughout the story. Davis is more than narrating the tale, he is acting it out for us which ultimately draws the reader in closer providing a more captivating experience.
The final chapters by Weatherford himself are equally epic in nature as Jack tells us in his own words and feelings of the details and hardships he endures while gathering the information needed for this book and they are very much appreciated.
There were a few parts where Genghis Khan cries to the mountain about his path, his continuing war with his childhood friend and of course the problems he had with his sons close to the time of his death.
Jack Weatherford's narration of the journey to Genghis Khan's perceived homeland was nothing short of moving.
I felt that Jack Weatherford's admiration of Genghis Khan was palatable throughout this story and I was expecting more details of the doom and gloom surrounding Genghis Khan and the 20-50 million people that died as a result of his actions.
As these details were not sufficiently covered to my liking, I will continue to learn about Genghis Khan to the point where I can find a complete perspective of the man to obtain a more complete understanding of him and the effects of his life and decisions.
This is perhaps one of my favorite historical books. One amazing thing about this book is it reaches from the late 12th century into around the modern day (~1945).
It is quite informative, despite having a few factual discrepancies. However, how it is recited reads like any great movie or fictional story would read while also providing factual background into the culture of the Steppe.
Alas, pretty much telling any of it would be spoilers, but surprisingly, there were quite a few.
One thing I noticed about this book, which may lead to some contention among readers, is that its account of Genghis Khan is _very_ favorable. For example, in the Middle East, it is thought that the death toll of Genghis Khan's campaigns reached up to around 15 million, destroyed infastructure, and ruined agriculture for possibly centuries to come. A census of China between 1195 and 1235 shows a decrease in population from around 50 million to 8.5 million. There seems to be very little mention of this in the book.
Conversely, when speaking of Genghis Khan's uniting of the Steppe peoples, it goes into a good deal of detail showing how Genghis brought law and order to where there was once boundless chaos. The ending of the book seemed to paint a positively uplifing view of Genghis.
Take the tone of this book with a grain of salt -- be sure to keep in mind that this is a very one-sided view of the conqueror. Try reading from the other sides to get a more three-dimensional view, such as Rashid-al-Din Hamadani account.
Has instilled in me a deep respect for this great leader, as well as the sacrifices of the scholars who worked to preserve the sacred, secret history. The book seemed long at times, but what else would suffice for the many centuries of impact Genghis Khan has had on our world?! I am stunned that this story is only now being brought to light, and thankful to have had the opportunity to listen!
I will listen to this again and again. So well researched and very engaging. Just amazing history. They really build the complex character of Genghis Khan and this exciting huge slice of history. A very impressive research and writing undertaking . Great readers too.
Enthralled by a time of history that the western world has been so misinformed about.
It has been one of the few books that I have kept telling people about.
"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...
"Liked it so much I didn't want it to end"
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.
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.
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.
I wouldn't say "moved" but I did get excited about this book and recommended it to friends and family.
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.
"A new outlook towards the traditional history"
A very important part of the history spanning for 4-5 decades and influencing every aspect of modern civilisation. Very little credit has been given to this and very few books available in english.
Genghis Khan and Kubel Khan and their regime.
Excellent piece of work, highlighting religious tolerance and meritocracy propagated by Genghis khan.
Must read for everyone as. The book changes the outlook towards history and makes you think before accepting anybody view of the history in the future.
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.
Amazing and insightful listen that shows us how a more complete understanding of the a Mongol Empire and its surprising triumphs
Fantastic book, very well researched and balanced. An essential read to all people interested in world history.
Very repetitive and factually inventive.
Overall impression being a futile attempt to make a factual history out of myth .
"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.
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.
An eye opening history. Contrary to the popular mythology Genghis Khan succeeded through marshalling trade, multiculturalism and meritocracy. His attitudes to social justice, law and religious freedom put his contemporary Christian 'civilisations' to shame.
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.