Sounds like a great book!
I greatly appreciated two aspects of the book. First was the historiographical analysis of how Genghis Khan has been perceived through time by historians, many of whom are descendants of the people conquered by Genghis Khan and his offspring. It is this that has lead to a wholly negative view of the Mongols. Weatherford argues that we in the West have the French philosopher Montesquieu to thank for our cultural recollection of the Mongols as “barbarians at the gate”. When examining history as far back as Genghis, it is important to amend the Churchillian maxim that “history is written by the victors”. History is written by the survivors.
The second aspect of the book I appreciated was Jack Weatherford’s hands-on approach to history. Although he mostly relied on The Secret History of the Mongols for details of the Great Khan’s life, he took it upon himself to go to the locales in Mongolia and along the Silk Road that were important to the development of Genghis and his ancestors. In the introduction Weatherford states: “Books can lie, but places never do.” Anyone who has ever been on a battlefield tour, I am sure would confirm that.