The Secret History of the Mongol Queens

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens

How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire

Book - 2010
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The Mongol queens of the thirteenth century ruled the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors cut a section from The Secret History of the Mongols, leaving a single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: "Let us reward our female offspring." Only this hint of a father's legacy for his daughters remained of a much larger story. 

The queens of the Silk Route turned their father's conquests into the world's first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens of Europe and and the Islamic world.

After Genghis Khan's death in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became a war against women in power as brother turned against sister, son against mother. At the end of this epic struggle, the dynasty of the Mongol queens had seemingly been extinguished forever, as even their names were erased from the historical record.. 
           
One of the most unusual and important warrior queens of history arose to avenge the wrongs, rescue the tattered shreds of the Mongol Empire, and restore order to a shattered world. Putting on her quiver and picking up her bow, Queen Mandhuhai led her soldiers through victory after victory. In her thirties she married a seventeen-year-old prince, and she bore eight children in the midst of a career spent fighting the Ming Dynasty of China on one side and a series of Muslim warlords on the other. Her unprecedented success on the battlefield provoked the Chinese into the most frantic and expensive phase of wall building in history. Charging into battle even while pregnant, she fought to reassemble the Mongol Nation of Genghis Khan and to preserve it for her own children to rule in peace.
           
At the conclusion of his magnificently researched and ground-breaking narrative, Weatherford notes that, despite their mystery and the efforts to erase them from our collective memory, the deeds of these Mongol queens inspired great artists from Chaucer and Milton to Goethe and Puccini, and so their stories live on today. With The Secret History of the Mongol Queens , Jack Weatherford restores the queens' missing chapter to the annals of history.
 
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2010.
ISBN: 9780307407153
0307407152
Characteristics: 317 p. ; 25 cm.

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ChristchurchLib Mar 01, 2015

In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, award-winning anthropologist Jack Weatherford examined the life and legacy of the much-maligned 13th-century empire-builder. In The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, he continues his study with the polygamous and prolific leader's daughters, at least four of whom became queens and provided stability among the lands that made up the Mongol empire. Unfortunately, warring among family members resulted in a takeover by male relatives, and the record of the women's achievements was literally cut out of the Mongols' history book. Pick up this compelling account to find out what the censors omitted. History and Current Events March 2015 newsletter.

JCLMeganB Jan 13, 2015

Weatherford's books on Central Asian history will inspire readers to reconsider their assumptions about the Mongolian Empire. Fascinating.

j
jacquep
Sep 29, 2010

Reading this book has given me a new insight into the history of Mongolia, modern China and countries of the surrounding area.

Weatherford's research shows that women were active as negotiators and leaders, warriors and peacemakers. I do not find it surprising that revisionist historians, at various times, have tried to erase these women from the records.

For me, Jack Weatherford made this era of history both understandable and extremely interesting.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in how our modern world order developed.

m
Mualla
Sep 09, 2010

The author being an anthropologist makes it more insightful to this very interesting history book.

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