The Secret History of the Mongol Queens

  • by Jack Weatherford
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Mongol queens of the 13th 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 30s she married a 17-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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well written, interesting, enligtening

I have bought this book to learn about Mongolia and as a co-listening book to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by the same author. Both books are giving a complex view of Mongolian history roughly since Genghis Khan's birth till discovery of America by Columbus. The Mongol Queen's history is something new and fresh, something we do not learn in school and do not often hear of in educative media. Most people are familiar with Genghis Khan but I bet noone knows and is interested in his wifes, doughters and other female relatives, even though they formed an undisputable part in history and without their influence and interference the course of events would take completely different turns. I was happy to learn that they were not just nameless persons in the background but that they were able to capture the power and be real queens, respected and counted on. Compared to other nations of that time period Mongolian women were experiencing more freedom and opportunities than was habitual and some of them were able to use this advantage to pursue their ambitions
I enjoyed this book as well as narration that was clear and comfortable to listen to. I am tempted to buy this book in printed form for future reference and possible re-reading.
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- Amazon Customer

A great book

Very insightful piece of historical investigation and delivered in a very meaningful and captivating manner.
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- R S Channa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-02-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio