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)
What a comprehensive and fascinating detailed history of the great Khans. Weatherford's mastery as a researcher is on full display and is truly up to the task of investigating and sharing the incredible evidence he witnessed being uncovered. The performance is also brilliant. Just to hear the reader pronounce so many names which are difficult to pronounce and read in English with so much confidence, clarity, precision and consistency is worth the price of admission alone. To me this book is a high water mark for its combination of content, performance and new information. Its an instant classic highly recommended. Flawless.
Initially, I enjoyed the narration of the life of Genghis Khan, which appeared factual, although not well documented, relying on just a handful of references and sources. It confirmed my preconceived opinion of Genghis Khan, and particularly of his immediate descendents as a savage horde. The author states that they massacres over 35 million people, destroyed agriculture, irrigation, and cities, burned libraries and looted all civilisations in their path, with the sole purpose of conquest and plunder. Ingenious conquerors they certailny were, but certainly nothing more.
The author's later attempts later to potray the Mongols in a favourable light appeared to me as laughable drivel. His claims that they were at the root of the renaissance stretch the limits of logic to the breaking point. He discounted all the historic accounts of academicians and scholars (Voltaire was a "revisionist" historian), giving more credence to the so-called "praise" of Genghis Khan, in The Canterbury Tales, a witty farce by all standards.
The structure of the book, particulary toward the end, left me puzzled. A full hour of epilogue and after-word that produced nothing but repetition of incidents in the main narrative, in a series of cheap clichés.
Maybe I was disappointed because I had read the book immediately after some great histories by Churchill and Roberts, and was expecting an intelligent and objective treatment of the Mongol era.That I did not get. I could not wait to finish the book, particularly the last thirty minutes or so, so I could throw it away.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Western histories tend to avoid this bit - this book fixes that big time. It is a history, but with about as much characterization as is possible. It is filled with details and I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history. The story is filled with action and intrigue, technology and religion, war and even a little peace. It is more than just the novelty that makes this a wonderful listen, it is the story and the characters.
The writer, Weatherford, is not what you'd call a great prose stylist, but the story he tells is stunning, and he did all the leg-work. His heart is in it. If you want to know how the modern world was born, listen to this.
Davis' narration is thrilling. Loved it all.
This book was extremely interesting and informative. It filled in the missing gaps of my personal history knowledge. The style is fluid and easy to follow and the reader has a very pleasant and soothing voice.
Fantastic read or listen. Highly recommend.
I listen to audiobooks commuting to and from work and until Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World never had listened to one that actually kept me in the car for longer than necessary. I'd be idling for extended time while it got later and later listening to this incredible work.
The narration is great and the story is spellbinding. I bought the book on a whim and have no regrets.
The first half is much better than the second half, but I enjoyed the story immensely from start to finish and highly recommend.
Fantastic book. Very good introduction to the Mongol History. Wonderfully written, keeps you entertained, wishing that the book never ends.
The narrator also did a wonderful job.
A must read for who likes History
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
It is hard to believe that we were taught so little about such a major part of our worlds history. I guess that can be partly attributed to the fear that the powers had of even the story of such a man as Genghis Khan. I loved every minute of this book. It reads more like a novel than history. I hope that this will filter down into our education system as it is important to know the hands that shaped our world into what it is today. Genghis Khan was one of the most influential of those hands. Excellent book. Highly recommended.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
The story of Genghis Khan is not so well-known as other parts of history. Jack Weatherford did us a tremendous service by seeking the man behind the myth. He made the customs of the Mongols easy to understand, ensured heartfelt empathy with the Khan and showed the influence of the Mongols on the whole world. Just to think that paper money, cannons and firearms are part of this nation's gift to humankind!
I thought Jonathan Davis did an excellent job of narrating this book. I didn't opt out while listening.
This book comes highly recommended, especially to those who love history and biographical works. The book is a bit of both.
I am not a big reader of history, but this caught my eye, and I was not disappointed. The audiobook is a little bit hard to follow, in terms of the large amount of information and its organization. So, it isn't a casual, or bedtime, read (listen). That said, I would include this in my short, "must listen" list since it is such a stereotype busting book. It will change your perception of the past with lessons that clearly apply to today's world. For me it ranks up there with Sun Tzu's Art of War -- albeit a much more engaging read.
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