Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection

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Macmillan, Feb 6, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals, alive in memory as a scourge, hero, military genius and demi-god. To Muslims, Russians and westerners, he is a murderer of millions, a brutal oppressor. Yet in his homeland of Mongolia he is the revered father of the nation, and the Chinese honor him as the founder of a dynasty. In his so-called Mausoleum in Inner Mongolia, worshippers seek the blessing of his spirit. In a supreme paradox, the world's most ruthless conqueror has become a force for peace and reconciliation.

As a teenager, Genghis was a fugitive, hiding from enemies on a remote mountainside. Yet he went on to found the world's greatest land empire and change the course of world history. Brilliant and original as well as ruthless, he ruled an empire twice the size of Rome's until his death in 1227 placed all at risk. To secure his conquests and then extend them, his heirs kept his death a secret, and secrecy has surrounded him ever since. His undiscovered grave, with its imagined treasures, remains the subject of intrigue and speculation.

This is more than just a gripping account of Genghis' rise and conquests. John Man uses first-hand experiences in China and Mongolia to reveal the khan's enduring influence. He has traveled the length of the empire. He spotlights the tension between Mongols and Chinese, who both claim Genghis' spirit. He is the first writer to explore the hidden valley where Genghis is believed to have died, and one of the few westerners to climb the mountain where he was likely buried.

This stunning narrative paints a vivid picture of the man himself, the places where he lived and fought, and the passions that surround him still. For in legend, ritual and intense controversy, Genghis lives on.
 

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User Review  - justininlondon - LibraryThing

Overall this is a very readable and interesting biography. You really get a feel for Genghis's ongoing importance in China and Mongolia and the wider region, as well for the times in which he lived ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Atomicmutant - LibraryThing

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't know much of anything about Genghis Khan but had always been curious, his name has such resonance, even without all the context. I found this book for half ... Read full review

Contents

On Death and How to Survive It
1
ROOTS
11
Secrets of The Secret History
13
The Coming of the Mongols
38
A False Dawn for a New Nation
55
The Roots of Ambition
67
The Rise to Power
91
EMPIRE
106
Searching for Immortality
192
The Last Campaign
208
The Valley of Death
223
To a Secret Grave
238
The Outer Reaches of Empire
260
RESURRECTION
285
The Making of a DemiGod
287
The Gravehunters
318

The Great State of White and High
113
Into China
134
The Muslim Holocaust
148
The Great Raid
183
On the Holy Mountain
333
The Prophet of Eternal Heaven
362
Bibliography Index
374
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. His bookGobi: Tracking the Desert was the first book on the subject in English since the 1920s. He is also the author ofAtlas of the Year 1000, Alpha Beta, The Gutenberg Revolution,Attila, The Terracotta Army, and The Great Wall, among others.

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