A magnificent new biography of the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, based on newly translated sources and the latest scholarship.
Genghis Khan was by far the greatest conqueror the world has ever known.
At the time of his death in 1227, his empire encompassed more than half the globe. At its peak, it stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad from the steppes of Central Asia rise to such colossal power, eclipsing the military achievements of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance and even democracy itself, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan?
His actual name was Temujin, and the story of his success is the story of the Mongol people: a loose collection of fractious tribes who tended livestock, ate a diet of meat and fermented yak’s milk, considered bathing strictly taboo and possessed an unparalleled genius for horseback warfare. United under Genghis, they were exceptionally meritocratic, religiously tolerant, disciplined and pragmatic, and developed the means to communicate rapidly over vast distances. Genghis himself was a tactician of astonishing cunning and versatility, who realised that the Mongols’ nomadic culture and military prowess equipped them to dominate any sedentary society they chose.
In this magnificent new biography, Frank McLynn brings vividly to life the strange and distant world of the Mongols, describes Temujin’s rise from boyhood outcast to become Genghis Khan, and tells the greatest story of military conquest in human history. Combining fast-paced accounts of battles with rich cultural background, he draws on the latest scholarship to provide the most balanced and comprehensive account yet of one of the most extraordinary men ever to have lived.