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)
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
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.
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.
Found nothing wrong with it, typical desire for more facing good work
Conections to the black plague
the skew of personal opinion .. tone of voice, etc.. opinions of topic.. from one more than likely more engrossed in the topic
mostly data with a few smirks
I'd like more referencial data.. maps.. charts.. diagrams of innovations used.. standards knots of the cultures.. stitching patterns.. etc.. yada yada ;)
Telecommuter living outside of San Francisco, CA. I listen to books while walking my dog, quilting, and doing chores around the house.
I started this book and just can't get into it. May try again another time, but it's pretty boring so far
No. It feels like it's not really well researched, or that the author used too few sources. It just didn't feel "authentic".
Some folks might, and obviously do, like this book. I just felt like I was hearing legends and folk tales instead of scholarship.
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.
It was fine
Probably as the general public love to see blood and gore.
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.
I love to read
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.
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
It was uninteresting.
Competent, clear, straight-forward
The 1st half maybe.
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.
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".
"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...
"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.
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