Book Report: Genghis Khan and the Mongol Conquests 1190-1340 by Stephen Turnbull (2003)

Book coverThis book is a brief (fewer than 100 pages) military history of the Mongols, starting with Genghis Khan. It’s part of a series of short, topical books by Osprey Publishing that look pretty interesting; I’d look for them myself at book fairs, but I recognize that these days, I’m just sniffing among the trash left by Internet-device-enabled book dealers who will find these things before I do and will try to then sell them to me at more than $1 each. Look down there at the price of this one, for crying out loud. It’s almost enough to make me consider not returning this book to the library (but I did).

At any rate, it focuses more on the military conquests of the Mongols starting with the consolidation of their central Asian power base and continuing through their campaigns in Europe, the Middle East, China, and Southwest Asia. Its focus, as I might have mentioned, is on the military strategies and tactics of the Mongols, and the focus really, er, focuses on how brutal they were. This slender volume does not have any of the leavening effect of their administration, religious tolerance, and other homer bits that run throughout Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

Still, it’s a quick read, with lots of images and maps helping to fill the pages. So it’s more like a long encyclopedia entry than a scholarly book. But a good read and a good primer. Man, I’ll have to seek out some more of these Ospery books.

Books mentioned in this review:

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