Catalogue

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Kublai Khan : from Xanadu to Superpower /
John Man.
imprint
London : Bantam Press, 2006.
description
383 p. : col. ill., maps.
ISBN
0593054482 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London : Bantam Press, 2006.
isbn
0593054482 (hbk.)
catalogue key
5865326
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure dome decreeKublai Khan, the thirteenth-century Mongolian prince who became emperor of China, lives on in the popular imagination thanks to Coleridge's poetic fantasy. But the truth behind the legend is even more fantastic than the poem suggests. Kublai inherited the largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan - and doubled it. His realm reached from the Pacific to the Urals, from Siberia to Afghanistan - sixty-per cent of all Asia, one-fifth of the world's inhabited land area. He was perhaps the most powerful man who ever lived.Kublai was not born to rule, but was put in line for the throne by his brilliant, scheming mother. Seizing power in his forties, he never questioned Genghis Khan's belief that Heaven had given his people the world. His first base - as the West learned from Marco Polo - was Xanadu, on Mongolia's grasslands. But with the brilliance, ruthlessness and flexibility of his grandfather, he saw that China rather than Mongolia was the key to empire. Beijing became his capital and after twenty years of war, he became the first 'barbarian' to conquer all China. Using China's vast wealth and military power, coupled with shrewd government, he redefined the course of history, giving China a new self-image - the root of the superpower we know today.This authoritative biography, enriched by John Man's extensive travels through Mongolia and China, brings Kublai Khan and his world vividly to life, and traces their significance for the world today.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Man does for the reader that most difficult of tasks: he conjures up an ancient people in an alien landscape in such a way as to make them live . . . a gripping present day quest." GuardianonAttilla From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Man does for the reader that most difficult of tasks: he conjures up an ancient people in an alien landscape in such a way as to make them live . . . a gripping present day quest." Guardianon Attilla From the Trade Paperback edition.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Kublai Khan hadn't been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. Unlike his grandfather, he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis' unwieldy empire into a federation.
Main Description
In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure dome decreeKublai Khan lives on in the popular imagination thanks to these two lines of poetry by Coleridge. But the true story behind this legend is even more fantastic than the poem would have us believe. He inherited the second largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan. He promptly set about extending this into the biggest empire the world has ever seen, extending his rule from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the world’s land area. The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He had inherited Genghis Khan’s great dream of world domination. But unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis’ unwieldy empire into a federation. Using China’s great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle government, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today. He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that country’s resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow.
Main Description
The authoritative biography of the great Mongol ruler, by the author of Genghis Khan and Attila. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree Kublai Khan lives on in the popular imagination thanks to these two lines of poetry by Coleridge. But the true story behind this legend is even more fantastic than the poem would have us believe. Kublai Khan inherited the second largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan, and which he extended further, creating the biggest empire the world has ever seen; from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the world's land area. The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He inherited Genghis Khan's great dream of world domination but unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power, and turned Genghis's unwieldy empire into a federation. Using China's great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle governance, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today. He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that country's resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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