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IN THE EMPIRE OF GENGHIS KHAN:
An Amazing Odyssey Through the Lands of the Most Feared Conquerers in History

Author: Stanley Stewart

Vivid, hilarious, and compelling, this book takes its place among the travel classics. It is a thrilling tale of adventure, a comic masterpiece, and an evocative portrait of a medieval land marooned in the modern world. Eight and a half centuries ago, under Genghis Khan, the Mongols burst forth from Central Asia in a series of spectacular conquests that took them from the Danube to the Yellow Sea. Their empire was seen as the final triumph of the nomadic "barbarians." In this remarkable book Stanley Stewart sets off on a pilgrimage across the old empire, from Istanbul to the distant homeland of the Mongol hordes. The heart of his odyssey is a thousand-mile ride, travelling by horse, through trackless land.

On a journey full of bizarre characters and unexpected encounters, he crosses the desert and mountains of central Asia to arrive at the windswept grasslands of the steppes, the birthplace of Genghis Khan.

From Publishers Weekly
Stewart, a British journalist and travel writer (Old Serpent Nile), takes a 1,000-mile horseback journey across Mongolia, the homeland of Genghis Khan. The author has a gift for merging history and anecdote and succeeds in engaging the reader throughout this informed narrative. Although their culture is dying out, nomadic Mongolians still live in gers (wood-framed felt tents) that can be quickly dismantled and transported across the Asian steppes as they travel continuously on horseback in search of pasture for their sheep, goats and yaks. Stewart vividly describes the days he spent on horseback with his guides, riding through desolate but breathtaking scenery. During his trip, he enjoyed remarkable hospitality from the nomads, who gave him a place to sleep and fed him mutton and airag (fermented mare's milk). His unusual adventures include a wedding, an encounter with a shaman and a visit to a clan meeting. Stewart blames the brutal introduction of communism into the country for Mongolia's troubles and, unfortunately, demonstrates his contempt for Russia by caricaturing many of the Russians he encountered. But this is the only discordant note in an otherwise excellent travelogue, which received the U.K.'s 2001 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Photos.
© 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
$14.95 (softcover)
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