The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire

by Jack Weatherford

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Overview

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford

The Mongol queens of the thirteenth century ruled the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors cut their story from The Secret History of the Mongols, leaving only a hint of a father’s legacy for his daughters.

The queens of the Silk Route turned their father’s conquests into the world’s first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens of Europe and and the Islamic world.

After Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became a war against women in power as brother turned against sister and son against mother. At the end of this epic struggle, the dynasty of the Mongol queens had seemingly been extinguished forever, as even their names were erased from the historical record.
           
Two centuries later, one of the most unusual and important warrior queens of history--Queen Mandhuhai--arose to avenge the wrongs, rescue the tattered shreds of the Mongol Empire, and restore order to a shattered world. She led her soldiers through victory after victory. In her thirties she married a seventeen-year-old prince, and she bore eight children in the midst of a career spent fighting the Ming Dynasty of China on one side and a series of Muslim warlords on the other. Her unprecedented success on the battlefield provoked the Chinese into the most frantic and expensive phase of wall building in history. Charging into battle even while pregnant, she fought to reassemble the Mongol Nation of Genghis Khan and to preserve it for her own children to rule in peace.

Despite their mystery and the efforts to erase them from our collective memory, the deeds of these Mongol queens inspired great artists from Chaucer and Milton to Goethe and Puccini. And so their stories live on today. With The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, Jack Weatherford restores the queens’ missing chapter to the annals of history.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307407160
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 152,633
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

JACK WEATHERFORD is the New York Times bestselling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World; Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World; The Secret History of the Mongol Queens; and The History of Money, among other acclaimed books. A specialist in tribal peoples, he was for many years a professor of anthropology at Macalaster College in Minnesota and divides his time between the US and Mongolia.

Table of Contents

Map of the Mongol Empire (1206-1368) viii

Introduction: The Missing Chapter xi

Part I Tiger Queens of the Silk Route 1206-1241

1 It Takes a Hero 3

2 The Growling Dragon and the Dancing Peacock 23

3 Our Daughters Are Our Shields 44

4 Queens at War and Commerce 67

Part II The Shattered Jade Realm 1242-1470

5 War Against Women 89

6 Granddaughters of Resistance 113

7 The Rabbit Demon's Revenge 130

8 Daughter of the Yellow Dragon 152

9 The Falling Prince and the Rising Queen 173

Part III Wolf Mother 1470-1509

10 The White Road of the Warrior Widow 193

11 Winning the War and Raising a Husband 210

12 Facing the Wall 228

13 Her Jade Realm Restored 248

Epilogue: The Secrets of History 271

Selected Bibliography 279

A Note on Transliteration 285

Notes 287

Acknowledgments 305

Index 309

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The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
NoraJean More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this gem at my library and pounced immediately! Having read Weatherford's treatment of Ghengis Khan's life I was very interested in the "rest of the story." This text focuses on the structures Khan put in place during his lifetime for governing the vast empire, and specifically addresses the balance he sought in all things political. The duties and responsibilities heaped on the young daughters of the Khan were staggering, and Weatherford's prose carefully explains just how staggering it all was. Discussion of the power struggles for control of the Silk Road are very informative without being dull and stilted, and the stories of the various daughters and grandaughters are woven into the history effortlessly. History is the story of individual people, and Weatherford's books artfully show the people who made this ancient empire what it was. After reading these two volumes I understand a great deal more about the histories of the many nations that were a part of Ghengis Khan's vast empire. The little bits and pieces I knew from school have come together in new and interesting ways! If you have any interest at all in world history, this book should be on your summer reading list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was immediately pulled into the world of the Mongols with Weatherford's writing. He effortlessly weaves in the impact that female individuals had on his expanding empire and the power that they possessed was shocking for this time period. Weatherford's historical account of the empire and the family captured my attention, and I couldn't put it down! This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in historical nonfiction. 
Anonymous 9 months ago
I'm sure the details are as accurate as possible. But, I had to put it down. It's fascinating just how powerful the Mogul women had. They were rulers, good and bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this read. Good continuity throughout.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book states the nation was built in 1206,but then says after it was built the sent a raiding party in 1205 to china. How is that possible?
beautifulanne More than 1 year ago
Ghenis Khan is a intresting man but the daughters behind him are intresting and how the mistresses are Quite unique. It is a must read if you are looking for any good historical fiction book. I loved it and i hope you do too.
Marlisa More than 1 year ago
I have not read as yet but definitely will. I read everything on the Khan group and am very eager to read about the role of women.