On the Trail of Genghis Khan

On the Trail of Genghis Khan

An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads

Book - 2013
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Grand Prize Winner, Banff Mountain Festival Book Competition

The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century - a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads lead, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn't been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.

From horse-riding novice to spending months in the saddle, he learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the haunting extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. As he travelled he formed a close bond with his horses and especially his dog Tigon, and encountered essential hospitality - the linchpin of human survival on the steppe - from those he met along the way.

Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang in the balance in the post-Soviet world - an era that has brought new-found freedom, but also the perils of corruption and alcoholism, and left a world bereft of both the Communist system upon which it once relied, and the traditional knowledge of the nomadic forefathers.

A journey of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013
Edition: 1st U.S. ed. --
ISBN: 9781608190720
1608190722
Branch Call Number: 915.04431 Cop
Characteristics: viii, 509 p. : col. ill., maps

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p
Polansky
Jan 27, 2016

This is a fine book, my favorite so far this year.Cope tries to learn to look at the world as a nomad would (he quotes Genghis Khan as saying he was the leader "of all those who live in felt tents.") And he pretty much succeeds, except for the part where he has to go back to his real life. There's just enough history and sociopolitical analysis for a travel book. For more, you can always read other books. (Jack Weatherford and Colin Thubron would be a couple authors.) A good read.

d
delfon
Nov 24, 2014

<http://www.timcopejourneys.com>

Not a very in-depth portrayal. Not up to tomes such as: 'the places in between", "the Land of the Czars", by Custine, nor 'this blessed land by Magocsi.

Merely a sort of diary, of events experienced.

ChristchurchLib Dec 09, 2013

"Before preparing to ride 6,000 miles on horseback across the Eurasian Steppe, Australian Tim Cope's only previous experience riding a horse had occurred at the age of seven, lasted ten minutes, and resulted in a broken arm. Not letting that stop him from following the historic path of Genghis Khan, he heads to Mongolia, the homeland of the legendary empire builder, buys horses, and sets out. Though he'd thought the journey from there through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea, the Ukraine, and Hungary would take 18 months, it actually takes three long years. Along the way, he faces dire threats, including from horse thieves and wolves, deals with bureaucracy, acquires a faithful dog, and meets incredible people, especially the many families who provide him hospitality. If you'd enjoy "an exciting, detailed account of man versus adversity" (Kirkus Reviews), check out this book." Armchair Travel December 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=709938

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