My book for September was Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, Dewitt Wallace Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College. When we were at Lake Almanor, the Nooters recommended the book.
The book is a narrative of the rise and influence of Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his successors, and their influence on European civilization. Weatherford acknowledges that Genghis Khan was a ruthless conqueror who committed many atrocities, but he also argues that he was a visionary leader who created a vast and prosperous empire.
The book is particularly interesting in its discussion of the Mongol impact on European civilization. Weatherford argues that the Mongols spread many important innovations to the West, such as paper money, gunpowder, and the compass. He also argues that the Mongols helped to break down the barriers between East and West, which contributed to the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration.
There is a lot of detail in the book about Genghis Khan life that is based on The Secret History of the Mongols. This book is a 13th-century Mongolian chronicle that tells the story of Genghis Khan's rise to power and the founding of the Mongol Empire. It is the oldest and most important surviving Mongol source on Genghis Khan.
Over the years, I have started to look at biographies with a more critical eye. Authors can spin the stories of a person's life in different directions by emphasizing some things and ignoring other aspects. This book has gotten a fair amount of criticism for its revisionist take on Genghis Khan.
I enjoyed the book, but I am not sure what to think about it historical accuracy. I would be interested in bouncing that question off Nooter.
[Note to self], I am going to add the Travels of Marco Polo to my reading list.