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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Audiobook

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

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Publisher's Summary

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege. From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.

Listen to An Interview with Author Jack Weatherford.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2005 Jack Weatherford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"With appreciative descriptions of the sometimes tender tyrant, this chronicle supplies just enough personal and world history to satisfy any reader." (Publishers Weekly)

"There is very little time for reading in my new job. But of the few books I've read, my favourite is Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. It's a fascinating book portraying Genghis Khan in a totally new light. It shows that he was a great secular leader, among other things." (Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India)

"Weatherford's admiration for Genghis and his firsthand knowledge of many of the sites important in Mongol history give this text an immediacy and a visual quality that are enhanced by Davis’s presentation. When the narrative begins to lag in its final hour or two as it moves farther from the twelfth century, Davis's crisp pace maintains the listener’s interest to the end. An informative and provocative work of popular history." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Brendan shadwell 02/09/2015 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Brilliant"

    A well researched story that not only goes into the the great Genghis Khan but also his legacy and family history. The most interesting parts were probably of his descendants taking over Russia, China and the middle East. The narration is also top notch and he's excited about the topic ,very easy listening. Definitely a must listen for anyone who appreciates history.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clare Donnelly 01/11/2017
    Clare Donnelly 01/11/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enlightening and thought provoking"

    loved it
    extremely well narrated
    would recommend it to anyone interested in history. Eye opening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernadette Starling Sydney, Australia 25/10/2017
    Bernadette Starling Sydney, Australia 25/10/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and well told"

    Jack Weatherford's study of primary source material has produced a brilliant book. It is a work of non-fiction that you cannot stop listening to. Weatherford's insights into trade, money and science (and how the Mongols spread these things) make this book incredibly valuable.
    The performance was also excellent-the reader was not annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 25/09/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly good"

    I wasn't sure if I would like this book when I purchased it, but after the first chapter I was hooked. I knew that the Mongolians played an important part with intertwining east with west, after reading this it's hard to believe how the world would be with out Genghis Khan.
    Anyone with the tiniest once of curiosity should listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Peter
    Sparks, MD, USA
    5/03/10
    Overall
    "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."

    What a comprehensive and fascinating detailed history of the great Khans. Weatherford's mastery as a researcher is on full display and is truly up to the task of investigating and sharing the incredible evidence he witnessed being uncovered. The performance is also brilliant. Just to hear the reader pronounce so many names which are difficult to pronounce and read in English with so much confidence, clarity, precision and consistency is worth the price of admission alone. To me this book is a high water mark for its combination of content, performance and new information. Its an instant classic highly recommended. Flawless.

    106 of 108 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Walnut Creek, CA, United States
    21/03/10
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    Western histories tend to avoid this bit - this book fixes that big time. It is a history, but with about as much characterization as is possible. It is filled with details and I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history. The story is filled with action and intrigue, technology and religion, war and even a little peace. It is more than just the novelty that makes this a wonderful listen, it is the story and the characters.

    124 of 130 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Yamhill, OR, United States
    1/06/10
    Overall
    "A Classic"

    Tolerant, wise, enlightened, brilliant outside of war... hardly adjectives to describe the historical figure we have come to know as Genghis Khan. Yet this is only the surface of the positive attributes described by Jack Weatherford. Genghis Khan was one who lived in the 12th century but had so much to contribute to the modern world it is really quite unbelievable. Genghis Khan’s people came from within tribes to successfully govern over and administer to a land-mass of cities, states and countries greater than no other in history.

    I was brought up on black and white TV watching cowboys and Indians. Like everyone else of my generation, we were taught the Indians were savage and barbaric... not too unlike what we are taught about the Mongolian people. Perhaps there have been others but this was my first read revisionist history to lend some balance about another tribe of People who have been so long persecuted even to this day.

    For me the book had just enough about the military campaigns to reveal that aspect of of Genghis Kahn without overshadowing all of his contributions and what exactly the entire world was like back then. The book is so relevant for today’s world. This is a book about history, literature, religion, philosophy and of course cultural anthropology. The balance of all things in this book were exquisite.

    For me this was an incredible book, scholarly written and beautifully narrated.

    69 of 73 people found this review helpful
  • Renee
    Tucson, AZ, United States
    17/03/10
    Overall
    "A passionate, eye-opening chunk of history"

    The writer, Weatherford, is not what you'd call a great prose stylist, but the story he tells is stunning, and he did all the leg-work. His heart is in it. If you want to know how the modern world was born, listen to this.

    Davis' narration is thrilling. Loved it all.

    72 of 77 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthia
    Monrovia, California, United States
    11/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Golden Horde/Platinum Listen"

    Universal free education. Widespread literacy. Secular government. Freedom of religion. Ambassadors from other countries. Translators and interpreters. Diplomatic immunity. A consumer-driven economy. Free trade agreements. Huge technological advances in communications. Paper money based on precious metals and gem reserves. Pensions for military veterans, and lifelong benefits for survivors of those killed in action. Support for scholars. Doctors and lawyers. Laws that applied equally to the rulers as well as the ruled. A Supreme Court. Meticulous record keeping, using complex mathematics and calculators. Multiculturalism. An empire bigger than North and Central America, combined.

    The Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and his grandson, Kubla Khan - and lesser known Great Khans - was astonishingly advanced, especially in contrast to Europe, which at the time, was mired in futile attempts - The Crusades - to 'free' the Holy Lands from Muslims.

    I knew that Genghis Khan was an innovative military leader who both invented and eschewed conventional warfare. Genghis Khan created the "decimal" system of soldiers of 10 soldiers to a 'squad', which is still used in modern military. A 'company' was 10 squads; a battalion was 10 'companies' . . . and so on. The term "decimal" is author Jack Weatherford's term; the other terms are mine, analogizing to modern military organizational structure. At the same time, Genghis Khan used innovative military weapons - including gun powder - and improved on existing weapons. His tactics - like waging war on multiple fronts, feinting defeat, and skilled infiltrators - are common today, but unique 900 years ago. Psychological warfare was a key part of Genghis Khan's military success - he encouraged stories of Mongol brutality and ruthlessness to encourage surrender.

    Until I listened to Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" (2004), I had no idea who Genghis Khan was, beyond his military skill. I spent a good part of the book wondering why, with advanced courses in European, Chinese and Russian history, I had essentially missed a crucial empire. In the Afterward, I found out: I am too old.

    During China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) a Chinese/Mongolian version of "The Secret History of the Mongols" (~1240, author unknown) was used to teach Chinese scholars the Mongolian language. It gradually stopped being used, and by the 19th century, there were very few copies. The first definitive English translation was Harvard-Yenching Institute's translation (Francis Woodman Cleaves, 1982). Urgunge Onon's 2001 translation is much more readable. Both are scholarly, often cited works. From 1924 to 1990, the Soviet Union controlled Mongolia and did its best to eradicate evidence of other civilizations, and kept the rest of the world from the country. Exactly who Genghis Khan was, how the Mongol Empire started, and how it thrived was hidden for almost 700 years.

    Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" opened a new civilization and a new perspective for me. Definitely worth the listen.

    [If this review helped please press YES. Thanks!]

    173 of 191 people found this review helpful
  • J. Lee
    California
    1/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning News! Great story."

    It is hard to believe that we were taught so little about such a major part of our worlds history. I guess that can be partly attributed to the fear that the powers had of even the story of such a man as Genghis Khan. I loved every minute of this book. It reads more like a novel than history. I hope that this will filter down into our education system as it is important to know the hands that shaped our world into what it is today. Genghis Khan was one of the most influential of those hands. Excellent book. Highly recommended.

    33 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Encinitas, CA, United States
    10/05/10
    Overall
    "Chills"

    I listen to audiobooks commuting to and from work and until Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World never had listened to one that actually kept me in the car for longer than necessary. I'd be idling for extended time while it got later and later listening to this incredible work.

    The narration is great and the story is spellbinding. I bought the book on a whim and have no regrets.

    The first half is much better than the second half, but I enjoyed the story immensely from start to finish and highly recommend.

    58 of 64 people found this review helpful
  • Bryant C. Flick
    26/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nobel Savage"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The author of this book cannot be called a scholar of repute. This book is littered with the attitude that the Mongols did nothing wrong and were out to save the world but those dastardly white people ruined it for us all. The book is sourced from the Mongol Secret History which is a dubious at best source with a clear cultural and political bias. This book read's like a love letter from a fan not a honest piece of scholarly work. Yes Genghis Khan is one of the greats in human history but no he was not the almost angelic being of providence the author makes him out to be. If you are interested in a more fair and balanced approach to the Mongols I recommend Dan Carlin's podcast Hardcore History: Wrath of the Kahns.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Cocoa, FL, USA
    5/03/10
    Overall
    "Forget what you've been taught in the past!"

    I am not a big reader of history, but this caught my eye, and I was not disappointed. The audiobook is a little bit hard to follow, in terms of the large amount of information and its organization. So, it isn't a casual, or bedtime, read (listen). That said, I would include this in my short, "must listen" list since it is such a stereotype busting book. It will change your perception of the past with lessons that clearly apply to today's world. For me it ranks up there with Sun Tzu's Art of War -- albeit a much more engaging read.

    47 of 53 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Gosford, NSW, Australia
    27/03/10
    Overall
    "Superb History"

    This book was extremely interesting and informative. It filled in the missing gaps of my personal history knowledge. The style is fluid and easy to follow and the reader has a very pleasant and soothing voice.
    Fantastic read or listen. Highly recommend.

    50 of 57 people found this review helpful
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  • Simone Teufel
    30/06/10
    Overall
    "Amazing! Wonderful! Couldn't get enough!"

    I stumbled onto this one by chance, and quickly grew to love it -- who'd ever know that much about the Mongols and how they changed the world? Years of research have gone into this book, and it shows. The 'Secret History', an original Mongol document about Gengis Khan's life, only became available for researchers quite recently, so there is now a wealth of brand new information. Many surprises, many really astonishing facts are waiting for the listener! The prose is at the right pace, not patronizing, not too scientific. One can also feel how much the author simply loves Mongolia... Good reader too. I simply couldn't get enough and was thirsting for more when it was over. I am now going to read his other books...

    29 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Philip vH
    25/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Liked it so much I didn't want it to end"
    Would you listen to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World again? Why?

    I actually already did start to listen to it again. This book is so packed full of interesting stories and information, I found it hard to retain them all from one listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

    I never thought a history book would keep me so entertained and interested. This one certainely did, the story of Gengis Kahn and his sucessors is told so well it almost reads like a novel. I loved the way this book changed my understanding of world history, illustrating the impact of the mongol empire on the world.


    What about Jack Weatherford and Jonathan Davis ’s performance did you like?

    Despite being packed with historical information, place names, dates and significant people, this book does not read like a history book at all. The story flows incredibly well and keeps you coming back for more. The reader has a voice that is very nice to listen to, becomes noticable when the reader changes for the afteroword.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't say "moved" but I did get excited about this book and recommended it to friends and family.


    Any additional comments?

    The ultimate measure of a non-fiction book must be if it changes the way you think and see the world. This one absolutely changed my understanding of history.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • KAROLINA R.
    9/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "like a great story"

    the book is like a great story, chronologically organised, easy to follow, full of interesting bits of info. I recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dave
    10/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well worth your time. great"

    love it got a far greater no about them than before I listen to this

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Omotola Alade
    6/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing story"

    this was a great telling of genghis khan who was a man that stood up to injustices of the class system in his society and invested in meritocracy. i think the taking over the world goal was intended by him only later but he was very intent on righting wrongs and preserving their way of life but through in intended consequences he changed mongolia and the rest of the world forever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Asif Mohammed
    2/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "gives a totally new perspective on the mongols "

    makes you think if the empire remained intact how much more could have civilisation advanced

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • P. Sleet
    9/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World to be better than the print version?

    Yes, active narration adds colour and allows the listener space to imagine and digress whilst the related material unfolds.


    What other book might you compare Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World to, and why?

    "The rise and fall of the Roman Empire", is also about civilisation changing events


    Any additional comments?

    Mongols and Tyranny are usually negative attributes in modern contexts. However, after listening to this book it is clear that the modern world owes so much to the developments brought to the fore by the Mongols. This book presents both sides and adds contextual balance, In some ways the vision of the dynasty of Genghis Khan for "one world" under one law gives Xanadu a whole new meaning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Scythian
    24/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book that fully illustrates the power of history"

    This is fascinating interpretation of the history of the Mongol empire and it's Khans, particularly Genghis Khan and their influence, direct or otherwise, to the modern world, and long overdue recognition of its contribution to the modern western world.
    This, to me, illustrates the importance of history, and how from it we learn to understand more of what we have now, and could have in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing the world from a different perspective.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • David Jackson
    18/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "simply amazing"

    I thought I knew something about the Mongol Empire. I was wrong. This book has shown me the richness of the legacy of an empire that changed the course of all of world history in infinite ways but of which my education has taught me next to nothing. I am incredibly thankful for having come across this book.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mukesh
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    5/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I really did not know much about Genghis Khan and this book was brilliant in teaching me something. The narrator was so impressive. It is one of the best books that I have listened to.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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