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Genghis Khan by John Man
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Genghis Khan

by John Man

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313535,548 (3.25)7
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  1. 10
    Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden (footysphere)
  2. 00
    Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford (Jakujin)
    Jakujin: A fuller account, much more substantial on the life of Temujin, but still a popular history.
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Showing 5 of 5
Half travelogue, and the latter parts are investigation into his death and the scramble for his tomb, or for political ownership of him (outrageously, the Chinese claim him). Interspersed is Temujin’s story, a potted history and an excursion into war strategy, but this isn’t a biography as such, or a history of the Mongols.

It’s a hodgepodge book -- like those reenactment documentaries, faction, and I tend to be impatient with history told this way. However, I enjoyed the travelogue in this one, and it's open-minded on its lead figure, not sensationalist or fast and loose with Mongolia's past. We hear from modern Mongolians, though I wish there were more views from Mongolia, on Genghis. ( )
  Jakujin | May 9, 2013 |
John Man travels to Mongolia to 'find' Genghis Khan and describes his travels and the life of Genghis Khan.

Firstly, John Man is not a historian. He writes a nice story, but when he starts relating Genghis Khan to Mongolia today, he makes some assumptions without citing sources. Simply because there are some holes in the ground now, you cannot say that they were there 700 years ago, and they were very probably where the Khan was buried. These kind of assumptions made me cringe, but as long as you never take John Man on his word, it is a fun book, with a very basic introduction into the history of Genghis Khan. ( )
1 vote divinenanny | Sep 17, 2009 |
Overall this is a very readable and interesting biography. You really get a feel for Genghis's ongoing importance in China and Mongolia and the wider region, as well for the times in which he lived.

On the whole, I liked the approach in this book and even at times preferred the author's narrations of his own journeys and investigations to the dry history.

I think the maps could have better: more of them inserted at the appropriate point, with clear indications of where these locations are today. I also think more emphasis could have been placed of why I, sitting comfortably in Western Europe today, should care about Genghis's life. Even though he built up a large empire, it was nonetheless in a part of the world that still largely remains unknown to Western Europeans. Yes, at one point his empire touched on the eastern borders of Central Europe, but is this enough?

I've read one other book by John Man, his book on the alphabet. Despite that subject being of more interest to me than this one, I found the style of this book much more readable. ( )
1 vote justininlondon | Apr 24, 2007 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't know much of anything about Genghis Khan but had always been curious, his name has such resonance, even without all the context.

I found this book for half price and so picked it up, even though some people complained about the style.

Well, I loved it. The thing that's different about this is that the historical information is interspersed with the author's travels across China and Mongolia in search of sites and information about Genghis. As such, it's part popular history, part travelogue, with anecdotes about modern Mongolia and the people interspersed with the historical record. I found this absolutely engaging and relevant. I also think it's interesting to get the perspectives of the people currently living in the region on the legacy of this remarkable man.

So, while I've read other reviews that count that style as a distraction, or a negative, I need to weigh in here and say that to me it was unique and absorbing.

You want to get more scholarly? Go for it. But this is a great introduction to Genghis Khan, in my opinion. ( )
1 vote Atomicmutant | Feb 12, 2007 |
The story itself was fascinating, written by the author as he traced the footsteps of Genghis Khan through Mongolia and China. The essence of the Khan can be distilled into 10 key points, which Man summarizes neatly at the end, but really, getting there is half the fun with this book. Well researched, well written and generally interesting, this is recommended for anyone interested in medieval Asian history. ( )
  Meggo | Jul 20, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553814982, Paperback)

The creator of the world’s greatest empire is one of history’s immortals. He is also at the heart of one of the greatest mysteries -- how and where was he buried? Its solution might, conceivably, reveal a treasure on a scale not seen since the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Genghis Khan, the creator of the greatest empire the world has ever seen is one of history's immortals. In Central Asia, they still use his name to frighten children. In China, he is honoured as the founder of a dynasty, the Yuan. In this work, John Man, takes a detailed look at his life and times.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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