With consummate skill, Tamerlane cobbled together a kingdom from the tattered leftovers of various Mongol fiefdoms. He then enlarged that fiefdom into a large and menacing power in the center of Asia. But when the mighty Mongolian empire decided to crush out this upstart rival, it was too late.
Tamerlane not only defeats the Mongols, but goes on to vanquish the Persians, the Indians and the mighty Ottoman Turks in successive wars. It was one of the most astounding developments imaginable, doubly so because of its swiftness and decisiveness. And at the time of his death in 1405, Tamerlane was on his way to invade and subdue China with an army of 200,000.
Ruling from his fabulous capital of Samarkand, he was a fascinating, controversial, and contradictory tyrant. He was both a destroyer and a builder, a barbarian and a cultured gentleman. He was ostensibly Muslim, but was the scourge of Muslim states, who vilify him to this day. The Tatar empire at his death approached the dimensions of the earlier Khans of Mongolia, yet it melted away immediately after his passing.
In yet another superb historical work, Harold Lamb brings the mighty Tatar leader to vivid life and shows how this ruthless commander used his superior intellect and magnetic leadership to overcome one obstacle after another. Tamerlane was truly one of the most remarkable personalities ever to emerge from the steppes of Central Asia.
© and (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur
Great book, very infomative on the culture, traditions, and motivations of a forgotten people. Lamb points out that there have only been three successful conquers. Alexander, Ghengis Khan, and Tamerlain.
Tamerlain was a tarter, not a mongol as most people believe. Great story well written. Kept my interest even while driving in the snow at night (sleepy time!)
The author looked at the facts--the history having been written by those he defeated--and gave an accurate picture of an ignored giant of history!
I also recommend Lambs book on Ghengis Khan.
Aptly tailored to be delivered in the oral tradition, Harold Lamb at once grasps your undying attention with this well polished work.
The performance is of the fantastic quality we have come to expect of Mr. Griffin, who's diction is at its best when strumming the chords of a well written epic tale such as this.
The key feature which makes this work exemplary is the seamless style with which ancient script, overlying theology, and modern historical knowledge meld to form a fluid history with a clear sense of its place in the ether.
The story its self is an amazing tale of a humble boy who launches himself into the select cast of rulers of which there are but few including Alexander the Great. Fighting in the style of those great barbarians who conquered Rome and enslaved China, Tamerlane leads armies over continental lengths against both the barbarous and most sophisticated of hosts. These campaigns culminate in an empire who's influence adds context to events of the middle ages and destiny of many nations.
Harold Lamb is a master who brings characters in history to life. While I preferred "Hannibal: One Man Against Rome", I found this to be an excellent book. History too often seems to pretend that central Asia doesn't exist and that the Romans were the only empire builders worth remembering. I knew nothing of the events and people described in this book before I listened to this book, and now wish to learn more.
Some people complain about the narration, although I'm not sure what they didn't like. Charlton Griffin does an excellent job and adds a dramatic flair to the reading that some seem to dislike. (What would they prefer, a dry recitation?)
My only complaint is that I still feel like I know too little. I'm so ignorant of the region and its history, that I struggled to tie the story to the modern world. I don't know if I could find Samarkand on a map, and didn't recognize half the place names he mentioned, even when he placed them "near modern wherever". But that is only a complaint of the scope of my ignorance of the region and its history, and not of the book itself.
This is the life and times of Timur, King of the Tartars and nearly the entire ancient world. Harold Lamb is a master!
The narrator is doing a great job, good storytelling voice and pace. Luckily no sound effects as in other similar semi-fictious books. This is not your usual history book-type thing, going meticulously forward year by year but rather a smooth flowing story with lots of detail, vivid and colorful descriptions.
Its highly entertaining, lots of action and easy to follow plot. I am not sure about how much is fiction or facts, but it didn't bother me.
Great voice, good speed. And good pronunciation of some very strange names, titles and places.
Although the author describes some of Tamerlane's atrocities, he is far too kind to a brutal monomaniacal warlord.
Tamerlane is estimated to have killed 17,000,000 people, about 5% of Earth's population at the time. He would have enslaved huge numbers, maimed or wounded others, and left orphans and widows.
His attacks stretched from the Levant to China. He eradicated most of the Christians from Asia. Baghdad never recovered from his sack of that city. An equal opportunity aggressor, he attacked Hindus in Delhi and other cities. To what end? He claimed to be the aligned with Allah but he slaughtered many Muslims. Personal glory, captives, plunder is a more likely motivation.
Harold Lamb is a popular writer, not a serious historian. Many of his comparisons of tactics are related to what Napoleon did. Lamb also has biographies about Hannibal, Suleiman, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan, all of whom waged wars of aggression.
The narration is too rapid. There are too many characters to keep track requiring rewinding. An accompanying map and chronology would have been helpful.
It should be noted that Chechnya was Tamerlane's stomping ground and that radicalized older of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers was named after Tamerlane, namely, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
I listen to a lot of books while driving my semi. In my opinion....A good audio book is one that chews up concrete and makes me not want to stop driving even when the log book says I have to.
Many years ago I read a book titled Timur: Ruler Of The World. I thought that this was the same book with the title just different, but it isn't. The big difference is the book I read years ago was more like the Genghis Khan series that has been out the last few years. It was a story that became a hell of a ride because of the detail to both the on going daily life, wars, and training involved. It was a fiction based on fact. This story reads more like a historic account....Interesting, but basically just the facts. I found it good, but a bit long winded at times. I also found this using the King James Bible language a bit distracting with the "Thees, Thous" and such. Worth checking out, but not all that exciting.
The reader was very disappointing and distracting. The text might have been interesting but the reader made it all sound like a dramatic recitation. It was impossible to differentiate between the chronicles that were being quoted and the author's own text.
I recently listened to Jack Weatherford's excellent books about Genghis Khan and the Mongolian empire and I thought this would be an interesting follow-up. But the book doesn't measure up to Weatherford's books, the reader's style is overblown, and when the plot is about a river, I don't need to hear the sound of a river.
The book is simply not smart. Narrator is not great and his special audio effects are very annoying. Tamerlane may have been the product of his time and of course and probably he was not worse than others, but it is not worthwhile to listen book about him. Man belongs to hell and deserves oblivion.
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