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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern…

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (urspr publ 2004; utgåvan 2005)

av Jack Weatherford (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,556774,433 (4.05)105
A re-evaluation of Genghis Khan's rise to power examines the reforms the conqueror instituted throughout his empire and his uniting of East and West, which set the foundation for the nation-states and economic systems of the modern era.
Titel:Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Författare:Jack Weatherford (Författare)
Info:Crown (2005), 352 pages


Djingis khan och modernitetens uppkomst av Jack Weatherford (2004)


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> As the Moghuls, some of them reigned in India until 1857, when the British drove out Emperor Bahadur Shah II and chopped off the heads of two of his sons and his grandson. Genghis Khan’s last ruling descendant, Alim Khan, emir of Bukhara, remained in power in Uzbekistan until deposed in 1920 by the rising tide of Soviet revolution.

> The Mongols made no technological breakthroughs, founded no new religions, wrote few books or dramas, and gave the world no new crops or methods of agriculture. Their own craftsmen could not weave cloth, cast metal, make pottery, or even bake bread. They manufactured neither porcelain nor pottery, painted no pictures, and built no buildings. Yet, as their army conquered culture after culture, they collected and passed all of these skills from one civilization to the next

> When the richest capitalists flaunted their wealth and showed antidemocratic or antiegalitarian values, they were derided as moguls, the Persian name for Mongols. … When American bombs and missiles drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in 2002, the Taliban soldiers equated the American invasion with that of the Mongols, and therefore, in angry revenge, massacred thousands of Hazara, the descendants of the Mongol army who had lived in Afghanistan for eight centuries.

> In Genghis Khan’s conquest of central Asia, one group suffered the worst fate of those captured. The Mongol captors slaughtered the rich and powerful.

> Ogodei erected several houses of worship for his Buddhist, Muslim, Taoist, and Christian followers. Of these, the Christians seemed to be gaining dominance at the Mongol court because Ogodei, like his three brothers, had taken Christian wives when they conquered the Kereyid and Naiman, and some of his descendants were Christian, particularly his favorite grandson, Shiremun (the Mongol version of the biblical name Solomon). Part of the attraction of the Mongols to Christianity seemed to be in the name of Jesus, Yesu, which sounded like the Mongolian word for nine, their sacred number, and the name of Genghis Khan’s father, Yesugei, who was the founder of the whole dynasty. Despite the high status of Christians, the small city of Karakorum was probably the most religiously open and tolerant city in the world at that time

> Because the subjects of the Mongol Empire used so many different languages, Khubilai Khan attempted one of the most innovative experiments in intellectual and administrative history. He sought to create a single alphabet that could be used to write all the languages of the world. He assigned this task to the Tibetan Buddhist lama Phagspa, who in 1269 presented the khan with a set of forty-one letters derived from the Tibetan alphabet. Khubilai Khan made Phagspa’s script the empire’s official script, but rather than force the system on anyone, he allowed the Chinese and all other subjects to continue using their own writing system as well in the hope that the new script would eventually replace the old by showing its superiority.

> Although never ruled by the Mongols, in many ways Europe gained the most from their world system. The Europeans received all the benefits of trade, technology transfer, and the Global Awakening without paying the cost of Mongol conquest. The Mongols had killed off the knights in Hungary and Germany, but they had not destroyed or occupied the cities. The Europeans, who had been cut off from the mainstream of civilization since the fall of Rome, eagerly drank in the new knowledge, put on the new clothes, listened to the new music, ate the new foods, and enjoyed a rapidly escalating standard of living in almost every regard.

> Just as the British executed the sons and grandson of the last Moghul emperor of India in the nineteenth century, the Soviets purged the known descendants of Genghis Khan remaining in Mongolia in the twentieth century, marching whole families into the woods to be shot and buried in unmarked pits, exiling them into the gulag of Soviet camps across Siberia where they were worked to death, or simply causing their mysterious disappearance into the night of history. ( )
  breic | Nov 26, 2021 |
Interesting and well-researched and well-written, but interest tapers off when Khan dies half-way through the book. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
Although mildly hyperbolic in a few places, this is a fascinating, highly readable and eye opening account of how, in the span of his lifetime, he was able to create an empire that extended from China to Russia and the Middle East. The book may be a bit too generous in attributing the "discovery" of many of the major technology advances of his era to Genghis Kahn, there is no doubt that Kahn was quick to recognize, exploit and spread them throughout the breadth of his empire.

Excellent overview of the book:
https://www.diplomacy.edu/resources/books/reviews/genghis-khan-and-making-modern... ( )
  lfiering | Apr 16, 2021 |
For centuries, people saw Genghis Khan as merely a blood-thirsty conquerer. Perhaps the most important reason we have seen Genghis in this light is due to his own propaganda. “Terror, he realized, was best spread not by the acts of warriors, but by the pens of scribes and scholars.”

This book attempts to counter that image of the Khans and the Mongol Empire, and shows all the great things they did that lay the foundation for the modern world: religious tolerance, paper currency, a postal system, etc.

The book was a little too “this happened then this happened then that happened” for me to really enjoy it, but the information it contained was fascinating. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
In most respects, this is a wonderfully surprising assessment of the founding, history, and impact of the Mongolian Empire! It's already one of my favorite popular history books!

The history presented in this book is 5-star interesting but the writing itself was a bit disappointing. Strangely repetitive and somewhat more simplistic than I expected. But this is a stylistic quibble, and it's the content that matters.

As for content, the author succumbs to the historical fallacy of ascribing modern sensibilities to historical figures (a phenomenon that's been unfortunately common in much historical literature for the past couple of decades). Yes, many of the principles on which Genghis Khan founded his empire were radical for his time and weren't seen again until the 20th century - but to call him a "modern man" (which the author does) is simply ridiculous. Like everyone, he could only be a man of his time. It would be just as accurate to say that our modern ideas are throw-backs to the 13th century ideals of Genghis Khan.

I also believe that in his zeal to prove the historical importance of Genghis Khan's influence, the author over-credits the Mongolian Empire with fueling the European Renaissance. Yes, it certainly wielded a huge influence, and the Renaissance probably wouldn't have been possible without the system of global economic and intellectual exchange built and maintained by the Mongols... but the most direct and proximal cause of the Renaissance was the rediscovery of lost classical Greek and Roman texts kept in the Arab Middle East. The Mongolian Empire may have created an environment sympathetic to a cultural rebirth but it was the Arab world that gave Europe it's direct catalyst. I think the author tries too hard to demean that part of it in favor of his personal obsession with Genghis Khan. ( )
1 rösta johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (6 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Jack Weatherfordprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
David Lindroth Inc.Mapsmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Davis, JonathanBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Henderson, LeonardFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lång, ÖjevindÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Of the thousands of cities conquered by the Mongols, history only mentions one that Geghis Khan deigned to enter.
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A re-evaluation of Genghis Khan's rise to power examines the reforms the conqueror instituted throughout his empire and his uniting of East and West, which set the foundation for the nation-states and economic systems of the modern era.

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