Before reading this, I knew nothing, like seriously nothing, about Ghengis Khan and the Mongol empire. I knew stereotypes, about rape and pillage, but that was it. This book was a revelation. A fascinating account of how a small nomadic tribe ended up taking over a large chunk of the world.
This is the story of Ghengis Khan, who rises from humble beginnings to rule a vast empire. He does this through relentless war and destruction of his enemies, but also by allowing those he conquers to go on about their lives, worshipping how they choose, living how they choose, as long as they accept his reign (and tax).
It’s also the story of how future generations both expanded and lost territory through theory leadership successes and victories. (There is the drunk heir who fucks up the western expansion, and the careful distant relative who ends up taking over much of China.) All in all a fascinating book that walks that pop history line well. I totally enjoyed it.