History has portrayed Genghis Khan as a barbaric warrior who mercilessly destroyed many nations. This theory is in question, based on the 19th century discovery of "The Secret History of the Mongols.".
Genghis Khan and the Mongols contributed to the growth and spread of communication, technology and trade throughout Eurasia in the 13th century. Jack Weatherford, author of "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World," states that while Khan was a great general, he was also a progressive leader who played a pivotal role in uniting Eurasia. Weatherford's view on Khan is based on interpretations from "The Secret History of the Mongols"," as well as other historical documents (Weatherford xxvii). .
"The Secret History of the Mongols,"" was written soon after the death of Genghis Khan and is written in Chinese symbols which represent various Mongolian sounds. This history was hidden for many years, leaving the world devoid of the valuable information (Weatherford xxvii). Its discovery and interpretation has shed new light on the life of Genghis Khan and his Mongol legacy, leading to renewed scholarly interest in the subject.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World was written by Jack Weatherford and was published by Crown Publishers in 2004 (Weatherford). Weatherford emphasizes the progressive nature of Genghis Khan's rule, which directly contrast the prior widely accepted historical view of Khan as a barbarian. Weatherford highlights the practices of religious freedom, diplomatic immunity, abolition of cruel punishments and spread of innovation and technology as key factors in showing the true nature of Genghis Khan (Weatherford 266).
Weatherford starts off with an introduction explaining why he began his research on Genghis Khan. He was originally planning to study the Silk Route and paths of commerce, but was drawn in by the local history of the Mongols. He conducted extensive research over a decade with numerous Mongolian associates to try to achieve an accurate portrayal of the real Genghis Khan (Weatherford xxxv).