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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Audiobook

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

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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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Performance
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  •  
    Marc 08-16-17
    Marc 08-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    277
    RATINGS
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    48
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    "very interesting overview, yet repeating and long"
    Any additional comments?

    This audio book is devided into three and a half parts, where the first part really centers and focuses on the life of Dschingis Khan (or "Gengis Khan", with almost all renditions of his name just being guess work anyway), the second part on politics and warfare of his children, grand children and the whole bunch that came afterwards - and the third part being some kind of re-roll on the international influence his deeds and those of his "dinasty".

    The half part following the third is called "after-word" but is basically all of the book repeated in shorter form, starting with Dschingis Khan's birth, youth, his achievements and cruelties etc.

    I do understand that in some parts of the world constant repetition is considered "good didactics", but, seriously, this book could have done with some editing. Delete half of it and condense the rest a bit, it would have done the topic a favor, because the "love" the author seems to hold for a despote, dictator, killer and warrior is, at times, a bit much to take in.
    Yes, I understand that the religious freedom Mongols provided, as long as they were accepted as earthly rulers, is a good idea (tm). Yes, I understand that giving some kind of equal rights to women and even supporting them in leading positions is a good idea (tm). Yes, I understand that the Mongols have brought culture, civilization and art to every single other people in the world (according to the author, that is) and that sounds like a good idea (tm) - if you want to believe it.
    But I would like to get at least a glimpse of verifable data before I just accept some author's believe about how the "modern world was created". The author does not give ANY data. He does not provide ANY means to checking what he claims. He does not cross-reference what he based his story on with other sources, as it seems. He just WANTS it to have happened the way he tells us.

    That's fine with me as a STORY. But it makes me doubt the data provided - all of it.

    Still, even with those doubts the story is good, I am almost ready to believe most of it and I found enough elements that I will dig deeper into myself, as far as that is possible. What more can you expect from a book.

    As for the narration: The first part I really liked (with a few exceptions), but when the repetitions began and got "spiced up" with some melo-dramatic episodes (again with no evidence for historical correctness, just presented as "nice stories"). the narrator lowers his voice almost an octave, dramatically (sic!) reduces his volume and over-acts the sometimes pathetic paragraphs, which was a really distracting experience for me.
    While I like the narrators voice (he could speed up by a factor of 1.5, I am not dead yet), the dramatisation and "almost-whisper" parts make me wonder if I want to listen to another book narrated by him. Which I find unfortuante, as there are many much worse narrators around here on Audible!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tristan 10-24-17
    Tristan 10-24-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Good first read on Genghis Khan"

    This book is really two stories. The first 6 chapters focus on Genghis Khan himself, whereas the rest highlight his legacy to the world. Unfortunately, the reader is left wanting more out of the two sections. At times, we bounce two easily from one topic to the other in terms when comes time discussing his impact on the world, which has the effect of disengaging our attention with broad sweeping strokes. However, after completion, the Mongol Universe is definitely clearer whereas it had previously been rather mysterious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Tidwell 10-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    19
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    "Educational and Entertaining"

    It is fascinating to hear how much impact the Mongolian Khan and his nation had on the world. From the expand of trade and the openness of ideas he had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan Karaèiæ 10-11-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    6
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    "Couldn't stop listening"

    Great book with amazing insight into a remarkable culture. Can't remember when I learned so much with one book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larri 09-26-17
    Larri 09-26-17 Member Since 2015
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    21
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    "Weatherford amazes!"

    Weatherford has brought to light history of epic proportions that was lost in a way that is as enjoyable to read as it is informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    icedsoftball 09-24-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    53
    3
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    Story
    "Interesting, but a tad dry."

    I'd recommend listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, it covers almost everything in the book and is more entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Munster Monster 09-20-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Magesterial history of the great khan"

    it was a horde of uneducated simple nomadic horsemen that strode across Asia Europe and the middle east to build the second largest empire in history. following the translation of the mongol secret histories, a detailed picture emerges of a great historical figure who had been unfairly caricatured and in many ways lost to history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 09-11-17
    Nicole 09-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    "Amazing history - the stuff you should have learned in history but didn't "

    Amazingly well researched and synthesized. The author passionately followed the life of Genghis Khan and his successors, and he is one of the first people researching this story and bringing it to light. Truly riveting details on the history and connections to today's world. I highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to everyone interested in history and politics. The audible version is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JG 09-04-17
    JG 09-04-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "The legacy of Genghis Khan"

    The book is very informative and read well. It brings to light a figure who is often demonized in our world. Very good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linette L. Widen Manson, WA United States 09-02-17
    Linette L. Widen Manson, WA United States 09-02-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
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    27
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    "BRILLIANT!"

    As a history buff, it's satisfying to read such a comprehensively researched and well written book. The Mongols were adapted to the nomadic way of life, depended on their horses for food and transportation, and knew every nuance of the land and seasons. A remarkable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Simone Teufel
    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...

    29 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Philip vH
    1/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Liked it so much I didn't want it to end"
    Would you listen to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World again? Why?

    I actually already did start to listen to it again. This book is so packed full of interesting stories and information, I found it hard to retain them all from one listen.


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

    I never thought a history book would keep me so entertained and interested. This one certainely did, the story of Gengis Kahn and his sucessors is told so well it almost reads like a novel. I loved the way this book changed my understanding of world history, illustrating the impact of the mongol empire on the world.


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

    Despite being packed with historical information, place names, dates and significant people, this book does not read like a history book at all. The story flows incredibly well and keeps you coming back for more. The reader has a voice that is very nice to listen to, becomes noticable when the reader changes for the afteroword.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't say "moved" but I did get excited about this book and recommended it to friends and family.


    Any additional comments?

    The ultimate measure of a non-fiction book must be if it changes the way you think and see the world. This one absolutely changed my understanding of history.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • KAROLINA R.
    9/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "like a great story"

    the book is like a great story, chronologically organised, easy to follow, full of interesting bits of info. I recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dave
    8/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well worth your time. great"

    love it got a far greater no about them than before I listen to this

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Omotola Alade
    8/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing story"

    this was a great telling of genghis khan who was a man that stood up to injustices of the class system in his society and invested in meritocracy. i think the taking over the world goal was intended by him only later but he was very intent on righting wrongs and preserving their way of life but through in intended consequences he changed mongolia and the rest of the world forever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Asif Mohammed
    8/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "gives a totally new perspective on the mongols "

    makes you think if the empire remained intact how much more could have civilisation advanced

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • P. Sleet
    6/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World to be better than the print version?

    Yes, active narration adds colour and allows the listener space to imagine and digress whilst the related material unfolds.


    What other book might you compare Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World to, and why?

    "The rise and fall of the Roman Empire", is also about civilisation changing events


    Any additional comments?

    Mongols and Tyranny are usually negative attributes in modern contexts. However, after listening to this book it is clear that the modern world owes so much to the developments brought to the fore by the Mongols. This book presents both sides and adds contextual balance, In some ways the vision of the dynasty of Genghis Khan for "one world" under one law gives Xanadu a whole new meaning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Scythian
    11/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book that fully illustrates the power of history"

    This is fascinating interpretation of the history of the Mongol empire and it's Khans, particularly Genghis Khan and their influence, direct or otherwise, to the modern world, and long overdue recognition of its contribution to the modern western world.
    This, to me, illustrates the importance of history, and how from it we learn to understand more of what we have now, and could have in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing the world from a different perspective.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • David Jackson
    9/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "simply amazing"

    I thought I knew something about the Mongol Empire. I was wrong. This book has shown me the richness of the legacy of an empire that changed the course of all of world history in infinite ways but of which my education has taught me next to nothing. I am incredibly thankful for having come across this book.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mukesh
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    6/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I really did not know much about Genghis Khan and this book was brilliant in teaching me something. The narrator was so impressive. It is one of the best books that I have listened to.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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