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)
Absolutely. The characters and world are fascinating, it's hugely educational, and it's so beautifully written, it felt more like rich fiction than a dry history book.
The man himself, Genghis. I had no idea of the true breadth of his impact on history.
This was one of the best audiobook performances I've ever listened to. Instead of the analytical, cold, newscaster-type readings for many non-fiction books, these guys performed it. Their readings were beautiful, powerful, and absorbing. An absolute joy to listen to.
I lived in Asia for 7 years, all in Korea, and where ever I traveled in that region I could see the impact that Genghis Khan had on so many Asian cultures. The Koreans talk fondly of Genghis, as if he was one of theirs. Koreans call themselves the "Han" people, which I was told comes from the Khan people. This book kept me interested the whole time, I couldn't wait to restart listening to it everyday
I think the title of this review says it all. If you are looking for an fascinating recounting of the history of Genghis khan and the Mongols, as well as an insight into how the shaped modern history this is the book for you. The narrators ready to listening to voice makes listening quite pleasant.
The impact of the Mongols on the whole world is astounding. For them to have been portrayed simply as bloodthirsty barbarians for so many years is nearly a crime. The truth of their story was so well hidden, and guarded, it has only come to light since the early 1990s.
The first section of the book is about Genghis Khan's early life. This section was difficult for me to finish. I really questioned why this was important until the end of the book where a comparison is made between Genghis, and a slave in early America. With this first section, we understand where he came from, what shaped him, and adds one more monumental accomplishment to an already long list.
Fascinating history that impacts many parts of our daily lives yet today, nearly one thousand years later.
Probably equal. The only real negative is that, as of my listening, the recording had an error. The book's twelfth chapter is entitled "Afterword: The Missing Conqueror." However, in the print version of the book (both hard copy and kindle), it is "Introduction: The Missing Conqueror" and has the exact same content. The content acts as a frame for the entire book, explaining how the author came to study the Mongols, what he did to write the book, and outlines the structure of the book you are about to read. For some inexplicable reason this section, which reads like a classic introduction, has been placed at the end. It is jarring and makes zero sense. I hope audible will move it to its rightful place at the beginning of the book.
I liked the perspective it offered on the many ways that the Mongol Empire and its values permeated and changed Europe.
Engagingly written history of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. The book ranges across land and time to tell a fuller and more appreciative version of Mongol history, eschewing the more common villification of Genghis Khan and his armies. The author focuses a lot on the war strategy of the Mongols, how it interacted with outiders, its willingness to allow religious tolerance and to incorporate the knowledge, skills, and industries of conquered people, and the innovative approach taken to empire management. With this focus on the broader aims of empire building and not just war (and any attendant raping and pillaging) offers the reader insight into the many ways that the Mongols shaped modern society (from trade routes to written law, to laying the groundwork for the Renaissance and Europe's adoption of a number of technologies - both industrial and war-related). The author also makes the plausible argument that but for the Black Plague, the Mongol Empire may have had continued prominence (wheras the Plague intervened and led to cities isolating themselves, thus crippling the extensive trade routes that were the lifeblood of the Empire). The major shortcoming of this mostly excellent book is that it glosses over the sheer numbers of dead and does not catalog any of the atrocities of the Mongols. This is less of a handicap since plenty of other books remain that hone in on those aspects of the Mongols and mostly ignore a more nuanced portrait, but still leaves a reader feeling that the author may have benefited from tempering his obvious esteem for the Mongols by offering a full potrait, blemishes and all.
As many Americans educated in the 20th century, I was very ignorant of any Asian history, bust especially the Mongol Empire and Genghis Kahn. I had fallen trap to the beliefs that he and his mongol horde were a group of barbarians pillaging medieval Europe. I couldn't have been more wrong.
This amazingly written book tells the very detailed story of the life of Genghis Kahn, from birth to his rise to power and the legacy his children continued. The amazing accomplishments and ideas that they had were so ahead of their time that I was ashamed of my previously held concepts of them. Not only is this a great historical text, but it is written in a way that the story is exciting and keeps you enthralled like a great novel.
I highly recommend this to anybody who is looking to expand their knowledge, especially on the often forgotten history of the Asian continent.
I don't think I would listen to this book again. The narrator was good but just a bit dry and it caused the last half of the book to drag on a little bit.
I thought they did a fine a job of differentiating the characters.
The entire story is absolutely fascinating.
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