Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Front Cover
Crown, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 312 pages
19 Reviews
A lively, fast-paced and radically revisionist account of the life of Genghis Khan and of the empire he created uawhich was the largest empire in world history uaand of the "Global Awakening" that he brought about by joining the East with the West. As Jack Weatherford writes "No one, before or since, conquered half as much territory, as many countries, or as many people as did Genghis Khan." The conventional view of Khan and the Mongols is that they were relentlessly brutal barbarians who showed no mercy to those they conquered. Weatherford turns this view on its head and shows that in fact Khan was a stunningly innovative and progressive thinker, who created a benevolent and populist form of government within his empire uathe first ruler to put the power of law above his own power; first to institute religious freedom; first to create public schools; first to grant diplomatic immunity; first to institute free trade, etc . By joining backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia, building the Silk Road into a marvelously efficient and heavily protected world trading route, Khan created a new world culture, which provided the impetus for the explosion of technological and social innovations known as the "Global Awakening," the fire that lighted the Renaissance. The book begins with the story of how Khan developed a new military system, perfecting a style of battle and innovating many brilliant strategies, and how he thereby consolidated power over all the Mongol tribes. The book then follows him as he sets out to conquer the surrounding territories, with dramatic storytelling about some of the key battles, such as the fall of Baghdad, which broke the back of Muslim power, a blow from which the Muslim world has never recovered. After Khan's death, the story continues with his heirs as they continue to conquer ever more territory, and culminates in the sto- ry of his grandson Kublai Khan and the explosion of new technologies and of world trade that happened during his reign. DESCRIPTION A lively, fast-paced and radically revisionist account of the life of Genghis Khan and of the empire he created uawhich was the largest empire in world history uaand of the "Global Awakening" that he brought about by joining the East with the West. As Jack Weatherford writes "No one, before or since, conquered half as much territory, as many countries, or as many people as did Genghis Khan." The conventional view of Khan and the Mongols is that they were relentlessly brutal barbarians who showed no mercy to those they conquered. Weatherford turns this view on its head and shows that in fact Khan was a stunningly innovative and progressive thinker, who created a benevolent and populist form of government within his empire uathe first ruler to put the power of law above his own power; first to institute religious freedom; first to create public schools; first to grant diplomatic immunity; first to institute free trade, etc . By joining backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia, building the Silk Road into a marvelously efficient and heavily protected world trading route, Khan created a new world culture, which provided the impetus for the explosion of technological and social innovations known as the "Global Awakening," the fire that lighted the Renaissance. The book begins with the story of how Khan developed a new military system, perfecting a style of battle and innovating many brilliant strategies, and how he thereby consolidated power over all the Mongol tribes. The book then follows him as he sets out to conquer the surrounding territories, with dramatic storytelling about some of the key battles, such as the fall of Baghdad, which broke the back of Muslim power, a blow from which the Muslim world has never recovered. After Khan's death, the story continues with his heirs as they continue to conquer ever more territory, and culminates in the sto- ry of his grandson Kublai Khan and the explosion of new technologies and of world trade that happened during his reign.

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Review: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

User Review  - Julie Bozza - Goodreads

An excellent read about an intriguing man and his long-lived legacy. I think most people will find a surprise or two in here, or most of us Westerners, at least; I certainly did. Genghis Khan has had ... Read full review

Review: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

User Review  - Michael Flanagan - Goodreads

This book went a long way to shedding light on the man known as Genghis Kahn for me. It was a well written book that engaged me and made this book a pleasure to read. So I here you ask why not 5 stars ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

JACK WEATHERFORD is a professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. He is a specialist in tribal people and the author of Indian Givers, Native Roots, Savages and Civilization, and The History of Money.

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