Encyclopedia of Mongolian and the Mongol Empire

Christopher P. Atwood

Published by Facts on File, 2003
ISBN 10: 0816046719 / ISBN 13: 9780816046713
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Synopsis: From Genghis Khan to the arid wastes of the Gobi desert, from the Soviet Union's most Stalinist satellite to the first Asian communist country to embrace democracy, Mongolia has always been an area of mystery and dread to westerners. Studied in school as part of the core curriculum, the Mongol Empire once stretched across Asia from the Pacific Ocean to Kiev and Baghdad. In modern times, interest in Mongolia has been suddenly sparked by the opening up of the country after 70 years of isolation in the Communist block. This first comprehensive A-to-Z encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongols provides up-to-date, accurate, and readable entries on all aspects of this people's turbulent history and rich culture, from prehistory to modern times. While particular emphasis is placed on the Mongol Empire, entries cover the country's entire history and range from geography to culture and religion to personalities, battles, daily life, and folklore. This volume is a great first-stop for research on Mongolia as well as a valuable reference for those wishing to expand their knowledge of a region that is, to most westerners, exotic and relatively unknown.

From Booklist: While most students of world history know of the Mongol Empire created by Chinggis (Genghis) Khan, Mongolia, a country with a long and complex history, remains a bit of a cipher. This detailed account of Mongolian history from 209 B.C.E. to 2003 C.E. does much to fill in the lacuna. Though there is special emphasis on the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the time of the expansion of the Mongol Empire, coverage is good for all time periods, and the encyclopedia as a whole makes a sound case for the enormous influence of Mongolian civilization on the history of the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, and Eastern Europe.

The introduction includes a guide to pronunciation, a real necessity. The approximately 1,800 alphabetically arranged entries are well weighted, with longer articles, for example, that on Chinggis Khan, extending for over five pages and shorter entries (e.g., Falconry) rating less than a column. Seventeen maps and 78 black-and-white illustrations are well placed and serve to extend and clarify the text. Suggestions for further reading are given at the end of entries for which important works exist. Most entries have see also lists appended as well. The volume ends with a list of rulers and leaders of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire; a detailed chronology of events from 209 B.C.E. to 2003 C.E.; a general bibliography; and a comprehensive, accurate index.

Author Atwood, a professor of Mongolian history at Indiana University, clearly knows his material. Communicating it all accessibly is challenging, however, and many entries will be best understood by those with significant background in the culture and social structure. Given this, the encyclopedia is best suited for general university and college collections where it will find use by students of world history. Ann Welton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Title: Encyclopedia of Mongolian and the Mongol ...
Publisher: Facts on File
Publication Date: 2003
Book Condition: Good

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