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Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Genghis Khan's armies breached the Great Wall of China, captured Beijing, and crushed all resistance in Afghanistan, Persia and Southern Russia by ruthless massacres and pillage. His armies also invaded Europe. Yet until now no historically reliable book about him has been written for a popular audience. This book analyses how Genghis Khan was able to unite the primitive M ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2004 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1979)
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Nov 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a workmanlike little history of the career highlights of the most unlovable of the Great Captains. Unfortunately, the author has little time for context, psychological analysis or chrome of any kind: this is history by Joe Friday with "just the facts, Ma'am." Even more unfortunate is the author's appalling attempt to forgive Genghis Kahn's unbelievable atrocities (e.g., routinely and literally killing every man, woman, child, fetus, dog and cat in cities which fell to the Mongol hordes) ...more
Michael Ware
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Genghis Kahn's life makes for a great story and the journey he made to conquer most of the known world is incredible. This book was very difficult to get through. The narration was brutally slow, I am sure there is a better version out there. This one gets out all the points, but It could have been told better.
John Lucy
Jul 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Oh my goodness. Just about the only cool thing about this book is that de Hartog started research for this book while in a Nazi concentration camp. You want the book to be good for that reason. Unfortunately, once the book starts, you're left wondering when the good stuff will start.

A lot of the book reads like a simple book report. There are end notes for everything with very little explanation of anything, making it seem as if de Hartog doesn't have any knowledge of the subject. When you read
John Mccullough
This is a scholarly biography about one of the world's most amazing men. Born into a minor clan of the Mongols, illiterate throughout his life, he nonetheless survived several brushes with death in youth and went on to create a huge empire that stretched from Korea and Manchuria in the east to Southwest Asia and Iran to the west. He conquered northern China and adopted many Chinese administrative and intellectual structures from them. Though absolutely ruthless (executing all town inhabitants wh ...more
This book was ok. The first part was good. I kinda lost interest in the middle. The last part was the best part of the book in my opinion. The beginning gives you a general history of Khan and his family. The middle section goes into a general history of the area and people before Khan started his conquest. With all the names of people and countries and cities... I had a hard time really keeping track. Plus I wasn't really interested in those things. Basically the book kinda wandered away of Kha ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
There are several glaringly obvious mistakes within the first few chapters. (I did not read past page 50- I could not justify spending my time on this book when I have others to read).

The most obvious is one very commonly known fact. The author anoints young Temujin with the title Genghis Khan years before the 1206 kurultai which is where he is known to have been given the title. de Hartog also declared that the meaning of Chinggis is unknown, but this is another fact that is untrue.

Karl Wiemer
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bailed-out
This book is terrible. At least the first pages. I give it another 30 mins.

I quit. Unreadably bad writing. Like an undergraduate history paper ... only longer. Hopelessly Euro-centric in its perspective, and executed with a stupefying dullness of style. Though there are moments of levity, at the author's expense, I cannot endure any more.

Rather than leave on a low note, let me share my favorite sentence of the few pages I was able to endure: "In addition to the characteristics already mentioned
I bought this book on a whim at a library sale. Overall, the book is not bad for a concise history of the "World Conqueror" and the empire he built. My problem with the book was that the author switched formats in that in the beginning he had chapters covering specific topics such as the organization of the Mongol Army but then later on changed to a time line.

A good book for those with a simple curiosity and not wanting to get into a lengthy, weighty more in depth level reading.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Move along. There's nothing to see here. Unless you like genocidal tyrants and lecherous war criminals.
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Genghis Khan was a dick.
Bcoghill Coghill
Nov 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Library
Good summary
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