April 16, 2014
Weatherford, J. McIver. Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world. New York: Crown, 2004.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford was published in 2004. This book was written to capture the essence that is Genghis Khan and what he achieved and what he left for his descendents to continue for him. In this book it starts off with the life of Genghis Khan and ends with how he influenced the world. The book is organized into three parts and from there is seperated into three or four chapters. Each part has a main point to cover in the life of Genghis Khan and his achievements and what they ...view middle of the document...
In the later parts of the book is where this information is expanded on by Weatherford in great detail.
According to Weatherford the Mongols created spirit banners that would be placed outside their camp and home and that it would stay with them for life. The spirit banners were made from horsehair and were believed to capture the strength and power of the wind and sky. The sky being a very important part because the Mongol belief in the Eternal Blue Sky (their god in a way). Genghis Khan had one that would stand during times of peace that was made from a white horse and during times of war he had a spirit banner that was made from a black horse. This banner was something that would represent them through life and death, it was very important to a Mongol warrior because it would be the motivation they needed to go out into war and life itself. The author here is trying to give the reader a very clear picture of part of the Mongol belief system and its also the beginning for later information that will fill the religion question throughout the book.
Genghis Khan (Temujin) was a boy whose mother was kidnapped and his father was the one who committed the act. Later he would end up killing his slightly older half brother because of how he treated Temujin’s mother. This act would later lead to their people leaving and abandoning him and his family. This also gives one an idea behind why the young Temujin would later become strong and very smart. Weatherford goes in to give a quick explanation of the early life of the boy who would later become one of the worlds most well known conquerors.
One of the greatest achievements by Genghis Khan is how quickly he conquered others and how he did it. Weatherford explains that Temujin conquered about 30 countries that exist on today's map. This quick introduction to the life that Genghis Khan lead sets the tone for the rest of the book and its lay out and what to expect.
Part I: The Reign of Terror on the Steppe: 1162-1206
The Blood Clot
This chapter Weatherford goes through Genghis Khan’s early years. The story of the young years of Genghis Khan’s life would start with his mother, Hoelun. She was kidnapped and was made to marry the man who kidnapped her. She later became pregnant with Temujin, who would later become known as Genghis Khan, a man who is remembered all throughout history about his conquest. Temujin was born not long after his half brother, who was born to his father's first wife. His half brother would inherit the right as head of the family when their father dies. Temujin was born clenching his right hand holding something tight, his mother opened his hand to see him holding onto a blood clot. Temujin would grow up in the steppes of Mongolia as a part of his father’s nomadic clan and it would help train the Temujin who would later become known as Genghis Khan.
Later when Temujin was older his father was killed by a group of men who noticed that he was the very man who killed their leader, so...