Customer Reviews for

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Average Rating 4
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

AP World History Review: a book that is both enlightening and entertaining all at once

To be honest, the thought of reading a book all about history would have disgusted me only a few days ago. And the truth is, it still does. However, this book is not just another boring list of facts; it's an engaging and informative piece that tells me what I need to...
To be honest, the thought of reading a book all about history would have disgusted me only a few days ago. And the truth is, it still does. However, this book is not just another boring list of facts; it's an engaging and informative piece that tells me what I need to know in a way that I want to learn it. I'm not going to say that this book is the greatest I have ever read, because it's not, but in the realm of books about history, I would definitely recommend this. There isn't a great deal of big words or unneccessary information in this book. However, the greatest thing about this book, for me, was the topic. The Mongols were such an important part of history, and the impact of their rule still exists in our world today. Just that was enough to draw me in.
I hadn't heard of Jack Weatherford before reading this book, and when I read about his credentials, I thought he would definitely be the type of author who drones on and on about a topic. But as I've already stressed to point out, this was not the case at all. At the beginning of each chapter, Mr. Weatherford quotes a short, blunt, yet thought-provoking phrase. This phrase then stays in the reader's mind throughout the extent of the chapter; this technique is one that causes you to subconsciously make connections that then amplify themselves later on in the book. The careful construction and layout of this book makes it a very effective learning experience. Overall, I would have to say that this book shines a whole new light on the life and rule of Genghis Khan, his well-thought out war plans and tactics, and the carefully crafted civilization he left behind. If you are even remotely interested by the Mongols, I would say definitely give this book a chance.

posted by 2392918 on December 9, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Misleading Title

I was excited to read a book about Ghengis Khan that was not written in the classic "textbook" fashion. This book, however, should be called "The Mongol Empire and the Making of the Modern World." Ghengis Khan is pretty much done by page 100 and there is a great deal ...
I was excited to read a book about Ghengis Khan that was not written in the classic "textbook" fashion. This book, however, should be called "The Mongol Empire and the Making of the Modern World." Ghengis Khan is pretty much done by page 100 and there is a great deal of time spent on what happens to the Mongol Empire thereafter. In a way, I wsh this book were either longer or shorter. For the period of time it covers, the paucity of pages means that the author glosses over what no doubt would be fascinating topics. This may be a function of the record-keeping at the time, though, and maybe there isn't a lot he can delve into. While there were some facinatig bits and the examination of the Mongol fihgting style was interesting, I just constantly felt as if the book could have been better.

One example is the creation of a Navy and attempted invasion of Japan by Kubilai Khan (who receives possibly more pages than Ghengis). There had to be more to tell here, but ther author spends a few scant pages on two attempts to onvade Japan. Likewise, the bubonic plague and period of time where the Mongol leaders were killing each other off in a great power struggle received very scant treatment, though they semed fertile and interesting ground.

In short, this is not consistent with the recent trend of well-written, enlightening history books. It is written in a very textbook style and unfortunately gosses over much of the interesting history. The author makes numerous statements that he either is making up, or simply failed to provide backup for. I was very disappointed in this book and would notrecommend it.

posted by Jimgraz on May 24, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    AP World History Review: a book that is both enlightening and entertaining all at once

    To be honest, the thought of reading a book all about history would have disgusted me only a few days ago. And the truth is, it still does. However, this book is not just another boring list of facts; it's an engaging and informative piece that tells me what I need to know in a way that I want to learn it. I'm not going to say that this book is the greatest I have ever read, because it's not, but in the realm of books about history, I would definitely recommend this. There isn't a great deal of big words or unneccessary information in this book. However, the greatest thing about this book, for me, was the topic. The Mongols were such an important part of history, and the impact of their rule still exists in our world today. Just that was enough to draw me in.
    I hadn't heard of Jack Weatherford before reading this book, and when I read about his credentials, I thought he would definitely be the type of author who drones on and on about a topic. But as I've already stressed to point out, this was not the case at all. At the beginning of each chapter, Mr. Weatherford quotes a short, blunt, yet thought-provoking phrase. This phrase then stays in the reader's mind throughout the extent of the chapter; this technique is one that causes you to subconsciously make connections that then amplify themselves later on in the book. The careful construction and layout of this book makes it a very effective learning experience. Overall, I would have to say that this book shines a whole new light on the life and rule of Genghis Khan, his well-thought out war plans and tactics, and the carefully crafted civilization he left behind. If you are even remotely interested by the Mongols, I would say definitely give this book a chance.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    AP World History Review: An Excellent Genghis Khan Experience

    My impression of "Genghis Khan", by Jack Weatherford, is rather good. Weatherford does an excellent job discussing various topics concerning the Mongols, such as Genghis Khan's childhood, many Mongols invasions, and the mannorisms and traditions that governed the majority of the Mongol people. I personally did not know very much about the Mongols, except that they ransacked cities, so this book did extremely well in eductating me on the various aspects of the Mongol civilization. Although Weaterford provides excessive amounts of information on the Mongols, the book is particularly slow at certain points. For example, reading about plunder the same city for a couple of pages seems unnecessarily drawn out at some points. Other than those few circumstances, the book was entertaining in general, and it contains a great deal of information about Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire. "Genghis Khan" by Jack Weatherford is an excellent book to read for anyone wishing to learn more about the Mongol empire and their ruthless founder, Genghis Khan. Weatherford accomplishes his goal of showing readers how the Mongol empire came to be, and what lead to Genghis Khan's transformation to the leader and founder of this huge civilization. This book is extremely successful in doing this because it is written following the Mongols. This characteristic is different from most historical works concerning the Mongols that are tainted by the bias of the accounts of the Mongols from the time period-all of which are written by the societies being attacked by the Mongols. So overall, this an excellent read to better understand Genghis Khan and the Mongol civilization.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Great read!

    Definitely good!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Recommended

    This is not a page turner, but it is an extremely informative novel about an area and a people I knew very little about. The research that Jack Weatherford did to write this book is impressive. The book is much more than Genghis Khan. It is about generations after him also. Some of his ancestors were not as smart as he was so they did not work together. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes history and the study of people and their relationships to each other.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!

    Very well written. Sequencing is imaginative. Learned much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    The Mongols get a bad rap ...

    Sure the Mongols, starting with Genghis Khan, conquered much of Asia and Europe. But they created the first truely global civilization with many of the same features that are cherished in modern civs. This was a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    great read

    Hard to put this one down. Never read this kind of history in school!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    AP World History Review: A Book about Genghis Khans intimidatingly powerful reign over the Mongol Empire.

    When I first picked up this book, I recognized Jack Weatherford's name immediately as many of my friends had been reading his books. I also noticed off the bat that it was a NYT Best Seller. As I began reading, Weatherford wrote in a very engaging style. Not only is the book well written, but the subject of the Mongols it very intriguing. As I had learned about the Mongols before, I found it fascinating to dig deeper and learn more of the 'behind the scenes' info into Genghis Khans life. As for the author, I think he did a fantastic job covering every aspect of the Genghis' reign. Not only did he go into description about the emperors before Genghis, but he picked apart each and very battle Genghis fought and his road to victory.

    I learned so much reading this book. Weatherford dissected every tactic, every battle, and even all of Khans upbringing that played a role in his great wide spread success. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to learn more about the Mongols or this particular time period. Although it is not necessarily an easy, or amusing read, it is well put together, and informational. The style in which Weatherford writes, while you read, you don't feel like you are reading just a history book. Maybe it is just because of the intensity and individuality of Genghis Khans rule, but I would certainly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    A piece of the world history puzzle

    My general understanding of much of the modern world was based on the happenings in Europe during and since the rennaisance, and the application of those happenings in the new world of the Americas. Jack Weatherford's 'Genghis Khan' takes us a few steps before that period. In doing so, the reader gets a better understanding of where the Europeans got (or rejected) many ideas about commerce, government, religious tolerance (or intolerance), and cooperating and operating within diverse cultures and societies. Weatherford is a very good writer and the book sails along. The fascinating story is even more remarkable in it's application to current world events. See where you think America's current views on blurring the lines between church and state and it's rejection of other cultures fits into the puzzle. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it . . .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    An engrossing read...

    Weatherford has written an absorbing and wonderful book about Genghis Khan. I could not put it down. This book ought to be read by any lay person who seeks a greater understanding of world history.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2005

    How little I knew...

    I bought this book because I knew so little about Genghis Khan. He was such an important person in history, that I felt I had an obligation to learn all I could. What I got, instead of just a biography, was a look into a world I had never known. This book describes the world that Mongols created: the world in which we live today. The Mongols were responsible for establishing the foundation for economics, politics and methods of warfare that are still used in present day societies around the globe. Jack Weatherford opened up a new door for me, through which everybody should walk.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2005

    A Great Introduction to the World of Genghis Khan

    Our history is dotted with the names of great conquerors who, be it by military strength or by sheer force of will and charisma, forged empires to stand as monuments to themselves. Consequently, such men are often viewed as either models to inspire greatness or as cruel despots who imposed their will on an unsuspecting people. While the latter is a definite trend among those who have gone into battle in the name of empire, it is a sad commentary on this ¿enlightened¿ age when all such persons are immediately cast into this stereotype. The truth of the matter is that without such conquerors, the civilized world would be lacking in much of advances that it has come to enjoy. This is the position taken by Jack Weatherford in his new book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, in which he outlines, critiques, and defends the actions of the Mongol Empire from its inception until the death of Khubalai Khan. Dr. Weatherford¿s book can be divided into three main areas: Genghis Khan¿s reign, the intermediary period, and Khubalai Khan¿s reign. Each of the sections presents not only a biography of the important parties involved in the forging of the Mongol Empire, but an in-depth look at Mongol culture as it evolved from nomadic horseman of the steppe to metropolitan world-conquerors. More importantly, Dr. Weatherford tries to show how the Mongol system of administration, economic emphasis, and tolerance toward native cultures helped to shape the way that the modern world approaches the same institutions. For nearly half of the book, Dr. Weatherford deals exclusively with Genghis Khan himself, the wars he fought, and the socio-political changes that he made. As can be expected from the title of the book, the most care is taken to present Genghis Khan¿s life in the most complete way possible, a venture which shall be discussed in greater detail below. As the young Temujin (Khan¿s name prior to his ascension to power) moves from being the son of a minor clan chieftain to an outcast and fratricidal murderer to an aspiring warlord to finally the leader of all of the Mongols, as well as various other steppe-peoples, the reader is caught up into the drama of the events, such as the kidnapping and subsequent rescue of his wife Borte. The reader also sees the khan learning from his experiences and Dr. Weatherford is very explicit in his description of Genghis¿ attempts to better administrate the new Mongol Empire, including the creation of a decimal-based system of social and military arrangement called the tumen system (Weatherford 52). After death of Genghis Khan, which is rather glossed over except for an anecdotal reference to his deliberation of which of his four sons would succeed him, Dr. Weatherford then moves into a brief intermediary period between the Genghis and his grandson Khubalai in which his sons and grandsons split the empire into pieces, while at the same time expanding it to new heights. Included in this section is a wonderful chapter about the role of the wives and mothers of the khans, who ruled while their husbands and sons were away on campaign, as well as a short biography of the oft-neglected Mongke Khan, who laid the groundwork for his brother Khubalai to ascend to power. The final section of the book deals exclusively with the reign of Khubalai Khan and the way in which he influenced Chinese and European history. While Dr. Weatherford does not expressly talk about the most famous story dealing with Khubalai (the visit of Marco Polo), he doe go through and carefully examine, by means of compare and contrast to his grandfather, how he was able to conquer what his predecessors had not be able to. The author also sends a great deal of time describing the decline of nomadism among the Mongols in favor of a more urbane lifestyle. First and foremost, this book is a great book about the Mongols as a people- one of the best in recent years. However, if the reader is looking for a goo

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    Hurray for the Mongols!

    I bought this book to better understand who Genghis Khan was and what made him such a great conqueror. I found the book to provide a strong, anecdotal history of the great Mongol conqueror and his grandson Kubali Khan. The author is captivated and enthusiastic about the Mongol's contribution to the modern world, referring to their establishment of free trade,secular governments with religious toleration, and even prohibitions to torture. In fact, the author likes to reference examples how Christian Europe of the same era of the Khan's was in many ways far more barbaric, intolerant, and cruel than the Mongols. The book is a short, crisp read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is nice to read a book that you know the author was passionate about writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2