Saturday, August 5, 2023

Review of Genghis Khan: A Life From Beginning to End by Henry Freeman

This book review was written by Eugene Kernes   

Book can be found in: 

Watch Short Review


“At the time of Khan’s birth in 1162, Mongolia was little more than a collection of loosely knit family-based tribes.  How this unorganized group of wanderers would be able to turn themselves into the greatest fighting force and later the largest land empire ever known to man remains one of the greatest mysteries of history.  In fact, nearly everyone that came in contact with the Mongolian military machine took it for granted at first, underestimating its power.” – Henry Freeman, Mystery of the Steppes, Page 3

“After this was complete, the two were then officially declared husband and wife.  Yet as the particularly long-lived nature of the Mongolian grudge would soon demonstrate, the two would not have long to celebrate their honeymoon.  Shortly after their marriage, the couple was besieged by distant relatives of Khan’s own mother, who sought a long awaited vengeance for his father’s original abduction of Houlon 18 years previous.” – Henry Freeman, Rites of Passage, Page 11

“Once Genghis Khan had achieved what was previously unthinkable and united all of the warring Mongolian tribes under one banner, he made it official in 1206 when a council was held to distribute his legal code, the Yasa.  This code of laws dictated the rules of coexistence for all of his subjects.  What had been a fairly lawless society was transformed as he finally set down major legal reform, including new laws such as those that condemned theft and adultery.” – Henry Freeman, United They Stand, Page 20


Is This An Overview?

Genghis Khan unified the Mongolian tribes into an empire.  Turning unorganized groups of travelers into a powerful military force.  Various states underestimated the Mongolian might under Genghis Khan.  A misjudgment with tragic consequences.  The power of the Mongolian Empire enabled them to receive tribute from other powerful states, while defending Mongolian interests. 

The tribes were united using various strategies, but that did not prevent tribal recrimination of past deeds.  The Khan developed a legal system that enabled coexistence.  Reformed property rights to become more inclusive and to foster longer term investments.  The Khan was bound by a shamanic destiny, but was able to overcome destiny to forge a path of one’s own. 



This is a very short book, which focuses on some major events in Genghis Khan’s life.  That means that many details will be missing, along with cultural information.  Describing what happened, but with limited explanation to why the events happened and their interpretation by others.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?  Why do people read this book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•To whom would you suggest this book?
•Who is Genghis Khan?
•How did Genghis Khan unite the Mongolian tribes?
•What was the Mongolian Empire able to achieve? 
•What is Genghis Khan’s name? 
•What happened when Genghis Khan got married? 
•How did China respond to the Mongolian Empire?
•How did the Shah of Persia respond to the Mongolian Empire? 
•Where is Genghis Khan’s body buried? 
•How did Genghis Khan overcome the shamanic destiny? 

Book Details
Publisher:             Henry Freeman
Edition ISBN:      2940153192406
Pages to read:       30
Publication:          2016
1st Edition:           2016
Format:                 eBook 

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          2
Overall          2