Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Background

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Background

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World is a history book written by Jack Weatherford, originally published in 2004. At 352 pages, it gives an alternate perspective to the Mongol dynasty and their leader, Genghis Khan. It follows Khan’s rise through the Mongol culture to his “explosion of civilization” by the Mongol tribe. Generally, throughout history, the Mongols are seen as a destructive people that left disasters wherever they went. Weatherford gave a different perspective to the story, depicting the Mongols as a constructive civilization that is not nearly as destructive as they are believed to be.

In the book, Weatherford discusses the Mongol’s beliefs and how those principles would make their destructive nature unlikely. He also attributes many innovations like the postal service, paper money, and gunpowder to Mongol credit. Though providing a very thorough explanation of the alternate Mongol nature, there are several critiques to his work. Timothy May critiques the book in a 2005 review saying that there are no footnotes or notations that help back up the claims Weatherford presents. Though May does not agree with Weatherford’s views on the Mongols, he does say that Weatherford manages to “presents his case very eloquently” and though wouldn’t recommend using it in a classroom setting, concludes that it is “well written and engaging”. A more positive review by Kirkus Reviews says, “Weatherford’s lively analysis restores the Mongol’s reputation, and it takes wonderful learned detours. . . . Well written and full of surprises.”

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World gives an alternate perspective on the Mongol dynasty and their nature towards other civilizations in history. Generally seen as a destructive group, Weatherford brings forth a different perspective in this history book and explores a possible other side to the story.

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