Kublai Khan

Front Cover
Random House, Mar 31, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 480 pages

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree

Kublai Khan lives on in the popular imagination thanks to these two lines of poetry by Coleridge. But the true story behind this legend is even more fantastic than the poem would have us believe. He inherited the second largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan. He promptly set about extending this into the biggest empire the world has ever seen, extending his rule from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the world's land area.

The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He had inherited Genghis Khan's great dream of world domination. But unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis' unwieldy empire into a federation. Using China's great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle government, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today. He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that country's resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow.

 

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User Review  - Zeke_Chase - www.librarything.com

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree... In 1797, British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge did a little reading on Kublai Khan, smoked some opium, passed out and had a vivid dream the ... Read full review

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User Review  - rajaratnam - LibraryThing

What a family the Khans were. A fascinating story about the grandson of Genghis. An empire which lasted nearly 300 years in one form or another, with some descendants being 'lost' in history by ... Read full review

Contents

Kublai in Context 168
11
A Lioness and Her Cubs
25
The First War on Terror
58
The Taking of Yunnan
88
In Xanadu
104
The Claimant
120
Yuan Empire 1270
196
AUTUMN
226
The Khans New China
271
l3 Kamikaze
303
Money Madness and a Murder
328
The Limits to Growth
341
The Mongol Empire in 1294
348
How the East Went West
359
A Holy Mountain A Secret Grave
393
The Legacy of the Great Khan
407

Burned by the Rising Sun
245
Challenge from the Heartland
258
Yuan Empire c 1279
262
Bibliography
415
Index
425
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. After reading German and French at Oxford he did two postgraduate courses, one in the history of science at Oxford , the other in Mongolian at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

John has written acclaimed and highly successful biographies of Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun and Kublai Khan as well as Alpha Beta, on the history of the alphabet, and The Gutenberg Revolution, on the invention of printing. He is fast becoming one of the world's most widely read historians.

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