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The Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire changed the course of history. Genghis Khan – mass-murderer to his victims; genius, hero, and demi-god to his people - united warring clans, forged an empire, and brought disparate cultures and religions together.


Inspired by Genghis’s astonishing success, his heirs (in particular his third son, Ogedei) created an ideology – that Heaven had given the whole world to the Mongols. In pursuit of this insane vision, Genghis’s grandson, Kublai Khan, doubled the empire's size until, in the late 13th century, he and his family controlled one sixth of the world’s land area. He conquered all China, making Beijing his capital and giving the nation the borders it has today, minus only Mongolia itself. The consequences reverberated down the centuries, and underpin Chinese and Mongolian attitudes today.


Working on earlier books, I realized that the Empire should be seen as a natural unity, from rise to fall. Its sub-empires and its many rulers were all linked by the ideology of world rule and the reverence accorded to the founder, Genghis. So I cut and condensed to make a single volume, updating the text with the most recent research.

John Man... has written a very lively and enjoyable book on a very complex and baffling story

Excellent and profoundly committed… wearing his learning lightly, Man is well up to date on scholarly thinking

What sets this book apart is the way the tale is told in delightfully conversational fashion, as if over a pint at the pub

Daily Mail

Frank McLynn

Literary Review

Gerard DeGroot

The Times

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