Author(s): John Man
This stunning narrative brings Genghis Khan and his world vividly to life.
Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals, alive in memory as scourge, hero, military genius and demi-god. To Muslims, Russians and westerners, he is a murderer of millions, a brutal oppressor. Yet in his homeland, Mongolia, he is the revered father of the nation. The Chinese honour him as the founder of a Chinese dynasty. And in his so- called mausoleum, in Inner Mongolia, worshippers seek his blessing. In a supreme paradox, the world's most ruthless conqueror has become a spirit of peace and reconciliation. But how much do we really know about this man? How is it that a mere warrior-nomad came to have such a profound effect on world politics that his influence can still he felt some 800 years later? He was born around the year 1162 and his childhood, viewed through the distorting lens of contemporary oral histories, includes all the usual tribulations of youth as well as a few less common ones - such as killing his brother at the age of thirteen in an argument over a dead bird. But it's clear that the man who emerged was a ruthless, brilliant tactician with a profound grasp of realpolitik and an extraordinary belief in his own destiny...
This is more than just a grippingly visceral account of Genghis's rise to power and his conquests in the Middle Ages: The author first-hand experiences in China and Mongolia highlight the extent of the khan's influence today. John Man is the first westerner to visit the valley where Genghis died and one of the few to climb the mountain where he is said to he buried. Enriched by these details, this stunning narrative brings Genghis and his world vividly to life.