Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Book - 2004 | First edition
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Random House, Inc.
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world.

Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order.

But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope
of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.

In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn’t just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made.

Baker & Taylor
A re-evaluation of Genghis Khan's rise to power examines the reforms the conqueror instituted throughout his empire and his uniting of East and West, which set the foundation for the nation-states and economic systems of the modern era.

Baker
& Taylor

A thought-provoking re-evaluation of Genghis Khan's rise to power sheds light on the revolutionary reforms the conqueror instituted throughout his empire--including religious freedom, diplomatic immunity, and the creation of the Silk Road free-trade zone--as well as on his uniting of the East and West, which set the foundation for the nation-states and global economic systems of the modern era. 50,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Crown, [2004]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9780609610626
0609610627
Branch Call Number: BIO Genghis Khan 2004
Characteristics: xxxv, 312 pages : maps ; 25 cm

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1Greengenecafe
Jul 28, 2017

Chingis Khan was one of the best books I have read in my life. This book exposed me to an perspective of world affairs in a way I did not expect. Chingis was born into a world and culture of sin and shaped by the iniquities of it. He had no control of where he was born, yet, had the vision to fight to make it better. I can not say that a higher power was not guiding his life and hands. I cannot say that any other approach would have given birth to the positive aspects of his and mongol life. I think this book changed my life. I dare not complain about what I might percieve as hardship . I have new understanding of persistence and patience of spirit.

s
StarGladiator
Sep 22, 2015

Genghis Khan, the Great Castrator! No thanks, I suspect all those males he and his hordes castrated just might not agree with this author, just as I have had many a heated argument with so-called dems over LBJ [the man who completely flipped on the great accomplishments of JFK, except for one, the Civil Rights Legislation, but then LBJ was planning on drafting as many young American males as possible!]. Castrated the males, mass raped the women! Civilization marches on? [Of course, the strategy of the Khan did indeed guarantee that 1% to over 2% of the present population stretching from Austria to the eastern edge of Asia would be descended from him.] By the end of this book you'll be thinking of Genghis Khan as a modern day George Will?!?!?

r
Rock_Shadow
Aug 04, 2013

Wonderful read. Great story, fascinating history, and, food for further thought - the tribal culture vs culture that tills. Highly recommend.

s
shelleysf
Aug 18, 2012

Weatherford's treatment of Genghis Khan's history is an important revisionist document for American audiences. It updates our hopelessly out-of-date conception of the nature of Genghis Khan's rise, conquests, and empire. At the same time, however, Weatherford fails to mention that the "Secret History of the Mongols," from which he bases much of his text, is very much a literary document, and open to interpretation. It's an enjoyable and quick read, appropriate for teenage through adult audiences. I, for one, wish it had been published when I was a teenager; I would have loved reading it.

m
Mongolian_girl
Feb 07, 2011

I found this book very hard to put down. In addition to giving a very clear account on the MASSIVE impact that Chinggis Khan had on the world in his time, this book gives voice to what the Mongolian people have been saying for centuries about their national hero. Weatherford writes in a very readable manner, almost like a novel. It certainly opened my eyes to new concepts about world history. I've recommended it to many, and they all loved it.

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