Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World audiobook by Jack Weatherford is a history book published in the year 2004. The book is focused on the rise and influence of Genghis Khan and his successors on the European civilization. The author examines and analyzes Genghis Khan in a different light.
The author says that the western depiction of Genghis Khan and the Mongols as barbaric tribe which destroyed civilization is mainly due to the Mongol’s approach towards dealing with the leadership and ruling classes. The Mongols used to kill the ruling classes to demotivate and subdue the general population, a method which was used by other civilizations also. History was usually written by the survivors of the ruling and leadership classes, who showed the Mongols in bad taste.
Weatherford also examines the treatment of the general population by the Mongols. He says that the Mongol regime was less burdensome than most of the European counterparts. The Mongols imposed a lower tax rate, were more accommodative of the local customs and traditions, had more rational administration and also were proponent of universal education for boys.
These privileges were only for the population who surrendered to the Mongol invaders. Weatherford also claims that the Mongols planned to increase their wealth by enhancing the productivity of their subjects, instead of imposing high taxes. They encouraged scientific and agricultural advancement. The author also claims and attributes the various aspects of Renaissance to the influence of trade promoted by Genghis Khan and the Mongols. According to the author, the Renaissance was not a rebirth of Greece or Rome, but the concepts of the Mongol empire.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World audiobook by Jack Weatherford received generally positive reviews. It was on the New York Times Bestseller List. Critics, however, have been harsh on some of the author’s views like Mongols being the major reason behind Renaissance.
The book is overall well-written and provides some fresh insights to the readers on the Mongol Empire and Genghis Khan. Though all the ideas presented in the book may not be accepted by the readers, it still remains an engrossing read for people interested in history.