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myavr.info: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World ( ): Jack Weatherford, Jonathan Davis: Books. Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy and millions of other books are available for instant access. Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy Paperback – September 6, Start reading Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy on your Kindle in. Apart from its inapt title, Genghis Khan dies rather early on in this account and many of the battles are led by his numerous offspring. This book is a successful.


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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Weatherford resurrects the true. Books shelved as genghis-khan: Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford () > Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from.

As Man says, even the Mongols must occasionally have hungered for light relief. In he turned his attentions westward, his generals blasting their way down the silk routes towards Khwarezm. They fell like a thunderbolt on the Muslim world, and penetrated a staggering 7, kilometres into Russia in what became known as "the Great Raid". The end came as he prepared to turn again on Xi Xia, the gateway to inner Asia.

He had crossed the Yellow River a bald statement that does nothing to conjure up the logistical magnitude of getting an army across a kilometre-wide expanse of fast-moving silt and was flattening everything in his path when, we are told, he fell seriously ill. He was taken to a hidden valley to recover, but it soon became apparent that he was dying. He decreed that his death be kept secret so that the planned conquest could take place.

This is the mystery that forms the climax of Man's book - a gripping present-day quest that takes him ultimately to the Holy Mountain in search of the truth about Genghis's death and burial. I won't spoil it for the reader. The Mongolians, however, have their own story about what really happened: As he lay with her, she took a knife and castrated him. He cried out when he felt the cut, but when his guards came in he only said: I wish to sleep. There are Arthurian echoes here that take us back full circle to Genghis Khan the myth; but in this book Man has ensured that we come much closer not just to the man behind it but to understanding the unquenchable effect he has on the spirit of a people who still await their "once and future king".

Topics Biography books. History books Higher education reviews. Reuse this content. Most popular. One could argue numbers as a case in point, but I look at it from a humanist perspective, whether it's five, five hundred or five thousand these were still lives This is a more detailed version of John Man's Genghis Khan.

One could argue numbers as a case in point, but I look at it from a humanist perspective, whether it's five, five hundred or five thousand these were still lives. I would also say that people should always be interested in history and to try to understand the why and how events happened in our history.

For history belongs not to one set of people, but to everyone. Fortunately John Man keeps the reader's interest throughout the entire book and presented more information that was not in his previous book.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Focusing on their golden ages, the author tries to provide the truth from the myth as few reliable sources are available. Written in a easy and understandable way to most non-english speakers, it helps explain the roots of the hordes that showed up at Europe's door. If anything is missing is more details and stories of each campaign.

If you want a light, easy and entertaining read, you won't be disappointed. If you'd like to learn about Mongolian history however, I can only urge you not to read this book. A better bet would be the eminently more reliable, but still readable The Mongols by David Morgan.

It suffers from many of the faults common to revisionist history - starting out with a good point but over-exaggerating to th This gets two stars instead of one because it's very well written. It suffers from many of the faults common to revisionist history - starting out with a good point but over-exaggerating to the point of wilful ignorance of available evidence.

What makes that particularly irritating in this instance is that it's not entirely necessary. Ghengis Khan was not a blood-thirsty barbarian, few scholars would dispute that these days.

By the same token, Jack Weatherford is not a historian. I'm taking away one of the stars: View all 29 comments. Oct 05, Mike rated it liked it Shelves: So while I rated this at three stars I don't want you to think this is not a good book or that you shouldn't pick it up. It is actually a rather good introductory book about Genghis Khan and the Mongols. It does a wonderful job discussing Genghis's early life an area that I knew little about and showed how the traumas of his youth which were legion influenced the man and empire builder he became.

It was rather illuminating in that regard, even as it related the story of the Mongols I was alr So while I rated this at three stars I don't want you to think this is not a good book or that you shouldn't pick it up.

It was rather illuminating in that regard, even as it related the story of the Mongols I was already familiar with. The tragedies his family endured seemed to have instilled in him a profound determination to defy the strict caste structure of the steppes, to take charge of his fate, and to rely on alliances with trusted associates, rather than his family or tribe, as his primary base of support.

My issue with the book was more due to it not holding up the promise of the title. It is clear that Weatherford has a great passion for Mongolian history but I fear he bit off more than he could chew with his title. I will certainly concede that the Mongolian Empire was unique for its time. The Mongols were always a minority where they ruled so they could not use the traditional tool of Empire building, the fist of the army, as their only strategy.

Instead they had to adapt to the people they conquered and look everywhere they could for innovative means of preserving their power and influence. Whether in their policy of religious tolerance, devising a universal alphabet, maintaining relay stations, playing games, or printing almanacs, money, or astronomy charts, the rulers of the Mongol Empire displayed a persistent universalism. Because they had no system of their own to impose upon their subjects, they were willing to adopt and combine systems from everywhere.

They searched for what worked best; and when they found it, they spread it to other countries. They did not have to worry whether their astronomy agreed with the precepts of the Bible, that their standards of writing followed the classical principles taught by the mandarins of China, or that Muslim imams disapproved of their printing and painting. The Mongols had the power, at least temporarily, to impose new international systems of technology, agriculture, and knowledge that superseded the predilections or prejudices of any single civilization; and in so doing, they broke the monopoly on thought exercised by local elites.

This universalist and pragmatic approach certainly generated qualities that we find in today's modern world: But these qualities did not have any sort of lasting impact on the world. Because of their universalist outlook and light for the times footprint on their conquered populations the Mongol Empire left little in the way of lasting cultural achievements. Many were merely absorbed into the local culture even as Mongol Dynasties continued to rule.

Their legacy was written by the people they conquered China or threatened Europe and that history did their legacy no favors. All the trappings we now see as modern for the most part perished with the various successor Kingdoms.

The Mongols may have shown hints of what the Modern World would becomes but they by no means set the world onto this path to modernity. In my opinion the book doesn't even make an effort to support its thesis, devolving more into a general history of the Mongols than offering some convincing through story of how they contributed to making the Modern world. So don't approach this book expecting some grand theory of history with the Mongols providing some pivotal trans-civilizational transformation as I did.

Instead, approach it as a really good, if broad, examination of how the Mongolian Empire came to be, was sustained, and ultimately shattered. In that light it is a good gateway book to deeper dives into the fascinating and unique Mongolian Empire. View all 5 comments. This might be my favorite book of all time.

It's as fascinating as a history book or biography can get while also being a terrific read. From the first page, you are immersed in understanding how an illiterate steppe warrior became ruler of an empire larger than Africa. Perhaps most enticing to me are the ways in which the survival strategies of steppe nomads influenced the ethics of rulership and the cunning development of military tactics.

I recommend this book to anyone with a sense of curios This might be my favorite book of all time. I recommend this book to anyone with a sense of curiosity, whether you typically enjoy reading history or not. I wanted to like this book but, the more I read, the more I was bothered by what seem to me to be unsubstantiated and "over the top" claims by the author. Since I know little about Asian history, I can only assume that the first part of the book is "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford is both an account of the life and empire of Genghis Khan and, unfortunately, a series of unsubstantiated claims about the empire's positive contributions to the world.

Since I know little about Asian history, I can only assume that the first part of the book is a fairly conventional account of the life and conquests of Genghis Kahn. However, from about the end of the first part of the book to its conclusion, I can say that Weatherford fails to provide evidence for several major claims he makes about world history. Weatherford never mentions that the Empire of Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons killed 30 to 40 million people.

Weatherford also downplays the fact that the Mongols brought slaughter, destruction, and misery to cities and villages from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe and the Middle East for about one hundred years. When Weatherford does mention some Mongol atrocity, he usually precedes or follows its description with a description of a worse atrocity committed by some European. And when he does mention a Mongol atrocity, many times he tries to give some rationalization for it.

For example, Weatherford blames one of Genghis Kahn's daughter-in-laws for the decision to kill every man, woman, and child in a certain city - and to amass their severed heads into three corresponding piles.

According to Weatherford, the Mongols are "victims" of a smear campaign started by the Enlightenment Europeans. He doesn't seem to consider that the Europeans may have remembered their ancestors being burned alive in churches by the Mongol invaders. According to Weatherford, the Europeans should be grateful: I think it could be argued that the world would have been better off without the Mongol Empire and the 30 to 40 million deaths and destruction - and with a Europe that discovered Chinese technology a couple of centuries later.

Weatherford seems to have bought into Genghis Khan's propaganda that he wanted to unite the whole world in one empire under the Eternal Blue Sky. I'll finish this review with a quote from the book that I think fairly summarizes Weatherford's thesis: This new global culture continued to grow long after the demise of the Mongol Empire, and through continued development over the coming centuries, it became the foundation for the modern world system with the original Mongol emphasis on free commerce, open communication, shared knowledge, secular politics, religious coexistence, international law, and diplomatic immunity.

I'm giving it two out of five stars rather than one star because I assume it provides the conventional account of Genghis Kahn and the Mongol Empire. Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford Length: Audible Studios View all 10 comments. Dec 24, Jamie rated it really liked it Shelves: The rise of Genghis Khan, the spread of his immense empire, the surprisingly farsighted policies he implemented, the intrigues of his successors, and the way Europe and Asia were changed in their wake make for an interesting book with lots of colorful characters and dramatic events.

He seems in many way to be almost an admirable character. That is, if you can overlook the dead bodies, the millions of people slaughtered from China to Hungary, from Russia to Iraq, entire cities laid waste and their populations put to the sword.

And not just once or twice, but everywhere the Mongols went, because they viewed terror as a cheap alternative to combat. Kill everyone who attempts to oppose you and eventually you can scare the rest into surrendering, but you have to kill a lot of people for everyone else to decide that surrender and slavery is a better option than putting up a fight. Mongolia was not a large place, and it was thinly populated since it takes a lot of territory to support a pastoralist lifestyle. As a result, after the first conquests actual Mongolians were a minority in the armies, which contained large numbers of affiliated troops, some from conquered peoples, some from allied nations, and some specialists, such as doctors, engineers, and siege warfare experts, from China and the West.

Their success depended on equal parts mobility, ferocity, superior equipment, and strategy. As a nation on horseback, they could move far faster than infantry-based armies, and their soldiers were trained from childhood to ride, shoot, and fight.

They used the fearsome compound bow, which was lethal at longer ranges than the weapons of their opponents, and they could shoot behind themselves as accurately as they could shoot ahead. It helped that the armies they fought were poorly trained and equipped and badly led.

For instance, in Russia the local nobles were so jealous of each other that they refused to name an overall commander; they attacked piecemeal and were destroyed piecemeal. In Hungary the nobles held back their troops even as the Mongols were at their doorstep to try to get additional concessions from the king.

The Holy Roman emperor was at war with the pope, and was willing to let western civilization burn rather than accept a compromise. When the Mongols attacked Baghdad the caliph was so certain that the armies of Islam would come to his aid that he did not order the walls be repaired until literally the day before the city was attacked. In both their invasions of Europe and the Middle East, the only thing that stopped the Mongols was news of the death of the great khan, and the need for their leaders to return home to elect a new one.

Had that not happened nothing would have stopped them from conquering all of Europe and the Middle East. The empire they created, for those who were able to avoid death or slavery, was remarkable for its time.

At a time when you could still get burned at the stake in Europe for minor theological disagreements, the Mongols tolerated all religions, so long as they obeyed the law. There was far more equality than anywhere else in the world, and they promoted polices that enhanced agriculture, trade, and education.

The Mongol empire remains one of the greatest episodes of human history, and helped open up the world for trade and the exchange of ideas. Whether the price paid in blood for its success was worth it is up to the historians to debate, but this book is a fine introduction for anyone interested in this subject.

The author's cheerleading aside, Khan's numbers and creativity will thrill and bewilder you. Mere light-weights who statistically pale next to this titan Massive Mongol Moments: Any person who found such goods, money, or animals and did not turn them in… would be treated as a thief; the penalty for theft was execution.

They had a single goal in every campaign: To stop trade through an area, he demolished cities down to their very foundations. Where the natural grassland seemed inadequate, the Mongols opened up farmland… by sending in… soldiers to burn villages and farm settlements… Without farmers to plow and plant the land, it reverted to grassland before the main Mongol army arrived. They had conquered the heart of the Arab world.

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No other non-Muslim troops would conquer Baghdad or Iraq again… until Khubilai Khan rarely allowed the use of execution for those offenses that remained… At the same time that the Mongols were moving to limit the use of torture, both church and state in Europe passed laws to expand its usage to an even greater variety of crimes for which there need be no evidence.

Unlike the variety of bloody forms of torture such as stretching on a rack… crushed by a great wheel… impaled on spikes… various forms of burning… Mongols limited it to beating with a cane. The Mongols staffed each office with an ethnic quota… so that each official was surrounded by men of a different culture or religion. Khubilai owned farms in Persia and Iraq… Clerics traveled throughout the empire checking on the goods in one place and verifying accounts in another.

The Mongols in Persia supplied their kinsman in China with spices, steel, jewels, pearls, and textiles, while the Mongol court in China sent porcelains and medicines to Persia.

Presses throughout the Mongol empire were soon printing agricultural pamphlets, almanacs, scriptures, laws, histories, medical treatises, new mathematical theories, songs, and poetry in many different languages. View 2 comments. This is a pretty radical book, and like most revisionist history it goes a little bit overboard with it's thesis: Genghis Khan wasn't a bloodthirsty barbarian, he was the greatest civilizing influence the world has ever seen, bringing peace of rule of law wherever he went!

In addition to the amazing personal details presented about Genghis Khan and his early life as an outcast from one of the most obscure fringe nomadic tribes of Mongolia to, well, King of the World, the book does make a fascinat This is a pretty radical book, and like most revisionist history it goes a little bit overboard with it's thesis: In addition to the amazing personal details presented about Genghis Khan and his early life as an outcast from one of the most obscure fringe nomadic tribes of Mongolia to, well, King of the World, the book does make a fascinating and convincing case for how the Mongols were able to break past entrenched and provincial ways of thinking to create a world view.

Also how they made their massive empire a meritocracy. In his effort to save Genghis Khan's image from evil conquerer to good guy he does seem to skip or gloss over a lot of the raping and pillaging that must have happened.

Not that I really want to know the gory details, but what's a detailed biography of Genghis Khan without talking about the gore? View all 4 comments. I enjoyed this book by Weatherford on the incredible Genghis Khan. I had no idea how much influence he had on the modern world: It was surprising to learn that this last principle was one which Genghis held very dear. There was one fascinating episode where a group of Islamic heretical extremists called the Assassins in fact the English word "assassin" takes its o I enjoyed this book by Weatherford on the incredible Genghis Khan.

There was one fascinating episode where a group of Islamic heretical extremists called the Assassins in fact the English word "assassin" takes its origin from this group were running rampant in Persia killing anyone who opposed their reading of the Qu'ran sound familiar? When Genghis rolled in, he told them his usual ultimatum, you can believe whatever you want as long as you bow down to me as your supreme ruler, otherwise, well, I'll slaughter all of you.

Naturally, they called his bluff, and also, naturally, he slaughtered every last one of them. Unfortunately, when he died, his successors poorly managed the empire and eventually took a much less tolerant view of religion which has unfortunately continued until our time. It was also interesting to note that torture and censorship were also unknown under the Great Khan. He simply would kill anyone who did not vow their fealty to them, but once they did, they had probably more liberty than any people currently living in that same massive swath of land from Turkey to China.

His rapid horsemen in their frightening leather amor would overwhelm and terrify everyone across Eurasia during his lifetime. Another fascinating aspect was that it was thanks to Khan that the plague reached Europe. This is an interesting side-note and could lead the reader of this review to also read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel which also discusses this phenomenon and which I reviewed on GR elsewhere.

Highly readable and fascinating, I highly recommend this book to those who are interested in how events of the 14th C in Asia had an impact on subsequent history. Born in , Genghis Khan grew up an uneducated outcast on the Asian steppes. He learned through harsh experience to be an astute judge of people, to be self-reliant and to be completely ruthless.

He set his own traditions. He valued loyalty first followed by competence. Lineage and social standing did not matter.

He was a great organizer and quick study, taking the best ideas from each societ Weatherford relates the remarkable story of Genghis Khan as told in The Secret History of the Mongols. He was a great organizer and quick study, taking the best ideas from each society he conquered and weaving them into an unstoppable strategy for conquest.

He conscripted anyone of value into his army or his capable administrative organization. Those left behind had to pay homage or be killed.

While he consulted with his compatriots, he did not tolerate dissension from anyone. He disdained torture, but killed without compunction. Genghis Khan forever changed the world. Prior to his reign, Europe, China and India were all isolated from each other. The Muslim Arab, Turkic, and Persian realm was the most advanced in literacy, education and in trade. What limited commerce existed between West and East went through the Middle East and made its way from tribe to tribe along the Silk Road south of the Mongol homeland.

Genghis Khan would bring the world, its goods, ideas and technologies, together. After a tough childhood, he was able to take over the leadership of his own tribe. Then he started aligning with or defeating nearby tribes. This included the Tatar tribe, thus causing some Europeans later to refer to the Mongols as Tartars.

In he adopted the name Genghis Khan, ruling a group of tribes that would be known as the Mongols. He constantly refined his strategies, adopting the weapons and tactics of his enemies as needed. He offered his adversaries the chance to submit before attacking.

Many of them became his allies. Unlike the Europeans who killed of all the commoners and saved the nobility for ransom, Genghis Khan killed all the aristocrats and conscripted the commoners. His army grew. So did his administrative staff. Genghis Khan valued highly those with skills and they were welcomed. In Genghis Khan defeated the important Jurched tribe sacking their capital in what is now Beijing. This victory gave him control of northern China and brought him in direct contact with the Sung dynasty in coastal and southern China.

He did not take on the Sung because he was uncomfortable with the terrain and the humid hot climate. He headed west instead following the plains he felt at home in.

In he defeated the large powerful Khwarezm Empire bringing him most of Central Asia and up against Russia and Europe. One would occupy the role of Great Khan retaining central authority. Two major campaigns were launched, one against the Sung dynasty in China and one against Europe. The Chinese campaign weakened the Sung dynasty and took some outlying areas but failed in its goal to take China. However, the Mongols were very successful slaughtering European armies while advancing to the outskirts of Vienna in where the plains ended.

Here the Mongols stopped. They had been taking in far less booty than in prior campaigns against the richer Asian societies. However the Mongols struck a deal with Genoese traders in Crimea selling Slavic prisoners for gold. The Genoese sold many of the prisoners to the Sultan of Egypt who used them in his army that would in twenty years defeat the Mongols. Mongke, the last of the Great Khans, authorized two campaigns, one against the Moslem strongholds in the Middle East and the other against the Sung dynasty.

He victoriously entered Baghdad deposing the Caliph whose line had ruled for years. Kublai established the Yuan dynasty creating a new united China with all the territory it has today. Kublai would become increasingly preoccupied with food, drink and song. The Yuan dynasty would begin to decay, surviving another years. In the Mongol Empire reached its maximum extent. There were four separate Mongol domains.

The Yuan dynasty ruled China, Tibet and Mongolia. The Ilkhanate consisted of Iraq, Iran and adjacent areas. The Chagatai Khanate occupied Central Asia connecting the other three. The Mongol empire although now broken into four distinct entities, stretched from Korea to Baghdad, from Viet Nam to Bulgaria.

Each khanate was ruled by the decedent of an illiterate reject who a hundred years earlier roamed the hills between Siberia and the Gobi Desert. In the early part of the 14th century, the khanates prospered. The Mongol trade links that connected China, India, the Middle East and Europe facilitated the infusion of new goods and ideas. But something sinister was also along for the ride, the plague, starting in China in China lost half its population in the next twenty years.

The plague spread along the Mongol trade routes reaching Europe by which would lose a third of its people in the epidemic.

Genghis Khan and the Quest for God

Trade came to a halt. The khanates isolated themselves. Cut off from each other, eventually the Mongol leaders would be displaced or absorbed into local cultures. The Ming rebels took over in China in and built walls to keep others out and themselves in. They abandoned the sea trade Kublai Khan had started, stranding Chinese in ports around Asia. Only the Chagatai Khanate preserved Mongol traditions. In Tamerlane took over Chagatai.

Tamerlane went on to create his own Central Asian and Middle Eastern empire, but it quickly disintegrated after he died in Today when the promise and the threat of globalization are top concerns, it is fascinating to read about how it all started.

In so doing he brought together for the first time the developed cultures of the world. The new technology and ideas that had come from Asia to Europe over the past two centuries would pave the way for the Renaissance. The desire to reestablish trade with China is what drove Columbus to look for a route west.

Since communications with China had ceased over years before his voyage, he thought the Great Khans still ruled there. The drive towards greater economic integration would march forever forward, albeit with interruptions. Weatherford, although clearly pro-Mongol biased, makes some compelling arguments about how much the modern world owes to the Mongol empire.

His short history is easy to follow and full of interesting tidbits to keep the reader engaged. He provides a different perspective, not looking at the Mongols through the lens of the West.

View all 9 comments. I listened to this audiobook last night, and I found it to be pretty interesting and humanizing to a person that is usually given a pretty bad rap in high school history classes. Usually we're taught that he was a ruthless conqueror who killed hundreds of thousands, millions?

Lots of people. But never anything about the man, the person, he is aside from that. How did he grow up to be this man, and why? This is the story that this book seeks to tell. And it is a fascinating one 3.

And it is a fascinating one Weatherford references the Secret History of the Mongols quite a lot, and a quick Google of this tells me that, much like the Bible, it was written well after the fact, by authors unknown, and has been translated and retranslated Not sure how much stock I really put in that.

I also think that this author tends to try to modernize Genghis a bit He portrays him as someone who, because of an early life betrayal by extended family, went against the social and cultural norms of his period and instead of putting all weight and meaning behind family, he instead put that into those who supported him.

He didn't believe that family was the most important, because his had betrayed him, so he basically made his own family from those who were loyal, but unrelated by blood or marriage. If you supported him, you were golden. If not, you were dead. Easy peasy.

Weatherford portrays Genghis as a beneficent ruler If you joined with him, converted, as it were, then you were treated as equals, allowed to live and be as free as someone under the rule of a brutal dictator who brooks no insubordination can be. But if you refuse, you die. And he was quite good at making people die. Genghis might say I will say that even if half of what was in this book was true, that he had a very interesting and eventful life.

I am not sorry that I read this, but I just wonder really how accurate it is.

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To the Young Mongols: Never forget the Mongolian scholars who were willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve your history. I gave 5 stars not because I'm mongolian but it WAS amazing. I won't say biased things here.Fortunately John Man keeps the reader's interest throughout the entire book and presented more information that was not in his previous book.

As he lay with her, she took a knife and castrated him. This is easier if you can both see and hear them. Weatherford references the Secret History of the Mongols quite a lot, and a quick Google of this tells me that, much like the Bible, it was written well after the fact, by authors unknown, and has been translated and retranslated It is a great book, if that is what you were asking.

War during that time was often a form of combat in terror, and other contemporary rulers used the simple and barbaric tactic of instilling terror and horror into people through public torture or gruesome mutilation. As he lay with her, she took a knife and castrated him. Where the natural grassland seemed inadequate, the Mongols opened up farmland… by sending in… soldiers to burn villages and farm settlements… Without farmers to plow and plant the land, it reverted to grassland before the main Mongol army arrived.

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