In Search of Genghis Khan

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9780689121340: In Search of Genghis Khan

Retraces the tracks of Genghis Khan's horde as they established history's largest empire, tells of the legends surrounding the Great Khan's life, and explains how Mongolian culture has changed little since the Middle Ages

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About the Author:

Explorer and author Tim Severin is the author of numerous books including In Search of Robinson Crusoe (ISBN: 046507698X), The Brendan Voyage (ISBN: 0375755241), and In Search of Moby Dick (ISBN : 030681045X). A regular contributor to National Geographic, he lives in County Cork, Ireland.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Reflecting that peculiarly British enthusiasm for travel and adventure in distant and usually inclement climes, veteran writer and traveler Severin (Tracking Marco Polo, 1986, etc.) went to Mongolia ``to see how much of the traditional way of life survived.'' Having written a thesis at Oxford on the first Europeans to venture into Central Asia during the great Mongol Empires of the 13th and 14th centuries, Severin was delighted when asked in the late 1980's to visit Mongolia. Once closed to Westerners, the country was now, with the collapse of Communism, welcoming Occidental visitors. The authorities were particularly interested in Severin participating in a projected, but subsequently deferred, epic ride on Mongolian horses to mark the 800th birthday of Genghis Khan. This ride would replicate journeys that Mongolian couriers regularly made in the Middle Ages from Mongolia to France. On his two visits to Mongolia, Severin visited the remote birthplace of Genghis Khan; traveled with Mongolian nomads on horseback over part of the conqueror's route through the mountainous regions of this large but thinly populated country, where summer is brief and winter brutal; encountered a plague-ridden marmot in a region where bubonic plague is endemic, confirming his belief that the Mongols were responsible for introducing the devastating disease to Europe; and met an ancient shaman whose existence testified to the continuing legacy of Genghis Khan. Ultimately, Severin concluded that, despite nearly 70 years of Communist rule, much of the old ways still remain. Rich in information and insight: a vivid portrait of a little- known people who, once the scourge of Europe, rode--on the remarkable horses whose descendants they still ride today--in pursuit of empire as far as the outer gates of Vienna. Travel writing at its best. (Photographs--16 pages b&w, 8 pages color--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Timothy Severin
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