Had the opportunity to plow through a bunch of books over the last week (Under the Black Flag, Hiaasen’s Nature Girl, the Baker Report, and am currently working on The Omnivore’s Dilemma – more on that one soon). Of all of them, however, the head-and-shoulders best was Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. As my friend Philip would say, fannnnn-great.
Take the discovery and translation of The Secret History of the Mongols, which was hidden from civilization for almost 800 years, lay over the top of it fantastic research and storytelling by author and scholar Jack Weatherford, who traveled thousands of miles on horseback to do his research first-hand, sprinkle it with the opening up and exploration of the Mongolian territory that was the Area 51 of the Soviet Empire…ah, great stuff.
From the cultural shifts, to the storytelling, to the strategy that allowed Genghis Khan to fairly rule an entire continent with only a handful of trusted advisors and warriors, a great read, end-to-end. Highly recommended.