Author(s): John Man
The untold story of the world's greatest empire and the creation of modern China.
Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals: a leader of genius, driven by an inspiring vision for peaceful world rule. Believing he was divinely protected, Genghis united warring clans to create a nation and then an empire that ran across much of Asia. Under his grandson, Kublai Khan, the vision evolved into a more complex religious ideology, justifying further expansion. Kublai doubled the empire's size until, in the late 13th century, he and the rest of Genghis's 'Golden Family' controlled one fifth of the inhabited world. Along the way, he conquered all China, gave the nation the borders it has today, and then, finally, discovered the limits to growth. Genghis's dream of world rule turned out to be a fantasy. And yet, in terms of the sheer scale of the conquests, never has a vision and the character of one man had such an effect on the world.
Charting the evolution of this vision, John Man provides a unique account of the Mongol Empire, from young Genghis to old Kublai, from a rejected teenager to the world's most powerful emperor.
The untold story of the world's greatest empire and the creation of modern China
"Wonderful... what sets it apart is the way the tale is told. Quirky digressions and fascinating anecdotes pepper a narrative of wonderful dramatic energy." -- Gerard DeGroot The Times "Excellent and profoundly committed ... Man provides a vivid, lucid and economical picture. A worthy addition to the burgeoning popular literature on the centaurs of the steppes." -- Frank McLynn Literary Review "[Man] does a splendid job of conveying the sheer opulence and grandeur... [and tells] a rollicking good story, his historical narrative interspersed with high-spirited travel-writerly digressions. Lively and engaging." -- Justin Marozzi The Spectator "A very lively and enjoyable book." -- Peter Lewis Daily Mail "One could not wish for a better storyteller or analyst than John Man." Simon Sebag Montefiore
John Man is a historian with a special interest in Mongolia. He has travelled widely across the lands that formed the Mongol Empire, becoming one of the few Western writers to explore the hidden valley where Genghis may have died, climb the sacred mountain on which he is supposedly buried and explore the ruins of Xanadu, the first capital of Genghis's grandson, Kublai Khan. His books, published in over twenty languages, include the bestselling Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection and Kublai Khan.