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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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  •  
    Patrick 02-11-13
    Patrick 02-11-13

    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

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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
  •  
    Thomas 02-08-13
    Thomas 02-08-13
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    "The first half is excellent; the second half..."

    The first half is a fine history of Ghengis Khan and the birth and development of the Mongol empire. The second half of the book takes place after Genghis' death, and covers the Mongol empire's rise and fall.

    So we get half a book of perfectly good history and biography, and half a book of sometimes disjointed and murky history and biography.

    It isn't just the subject matter that changes at the half-way point; it's the style and the detail that fall off abruptly. The first half is full of specific detail explained clearly, and the second half is full of specific detail that isn't told well or explained well at all. This leads to long sections of details and place names and people's names that don't seem connected to any theme or purpose.

    One of the main points of the book is how the Mongol Empire set the tone and structure for so much in the modern world. But this point is really only made in the final few chapters, and the point is not made so well. The impact of the Mongol empire on the modern world is not a theme woven throughout the book, but is instead presented as a summary at the end.

    I picked up this book on one of Audible's sales, and I'd say it was worth the $6 I think I paid for it. But it wouldn't be worth any more than that to me. A good book, but not great.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bekim Portland, OR, United States 10-14-12
    Bekim Portland, OR, United States 10-14-12
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    "Best on topic yet"
    Where does Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Found nothing wrong with it, typical desire for more facing good work


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

    Conections to the black plague


    What does Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    the skew of personal opinion .. tone of voice, etc.. opinions of topic.. from one more than likely more engrossed in the topic


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    mostly data with a few smirks


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like more referencial data.. maps.. charts.. diagrams of innovations used.. standards knots of the cultures.. stitching patterns.. etc.. yada yada ;)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna H. Barnes BRENTWOOD, CA, United States 08-20-12
    Donna H. Barnes BRENTWOOD, CA, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Telecommuter living outside of San Francisco, CA. I listen to books while walking my dog, quilting, and doing chores around the house.

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    "More like a text book"

    I started this book and just can't get into it. May try again another time, but it's pretty boring so far

    1 of 4 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 2 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 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    No Suspicion 12-19-12 Member Since 2012

    I love to read

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    "Fascinating Khan; poorly written"

    The impact of Genghis Khan on modern bureaucracies, legal systems, military strategy, and etc. is astounding, but this history, which follows the pattern "In 1324 this happened. Then, in 1325 the next thing happened….and then, in 1326" doesn't do justice to the story, which is mostly rehashed from a single source. Hard to recommend this one, even though the subject amazes.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Grandview, WA, United States 03-17-12
    Joanna Grandview, WA, United States 03-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "1st half great"
    What did you like best about Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World? What did you like least?

    I thought the story of Genghis Khan was fascinating. The reputation of this man really does not do justice to his life I never would have thought that this


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was uninteresting.


    What three words best describe Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford ’s performance?

    Competent, clear, straight-forward


    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?

    The 1st half maybe.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gert Glenden, Australia 09-01-10
    Gert Glenden, Australia 09-01-10
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    "History or a story"

    Intresting facts, to little about Genghis. Liked it but you need to have intrest in it. Not "pleasureable" listning.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fan F. 09-11-14
    Fan F. 09-11-14 Member Since 2010
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    "what is "secrete history"?!"
    Would you try another book from Jack Weatherford and/or Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford ?

    no!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jack Weatherford again?

    no!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disapointment beyond words. Among all the historical book I read on Genghis Khan topics, this has to be the #1 - worst! Granted for mongolian history at early stage (before 12th centuries), little is known except from the documentations from Persian and Chinese historians. However, I am shocked about the amount of inaccuracies appeared in this book. I heard "according to secrete history" so many times in the 1st hr of this book, that I was gonna to explode. So that was the author's source?! what type of researcher are you?! I have no problem with making it into total fiction, however, as "fiction" as this book goes, it is boring as hell, which comes from lack of understanding from the author to Mongols other than some mechanical (lack) fantasy an outsider may have. For a person who came from that part of the world, i got uncomfortable goose bumps all over for the inaccurate portait. As a trained biochemistry PhD, i am utterly disappointed about the amature quality of research presented here.


    Any additional comments?

    Please do not treat us like 3 yrs old by citing "secrete history". Also please decide whether you are to write history book or a fiction before writing. For the former, you need to have rigorous documentation, in-depth research and critical thinking. Your secrete history repetition wont suffice. For the later, I suggest you gain some better understanding first from the former, and than use some imagination.

    As of now, this book is "neither here nor there".

    0 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...

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A new outlook towards the traditional history"
    If you could sum up Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Genghis Khan and Kubel Khan and their regime.


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

    Excellent piece of work, highlighting religious tolerance and meritocracy propagated by Genghis khan.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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