New Book:  “The Horde:  How the Mongols Changed the World” by Marie Favereau!

Dear Commons Community,

I have just finished reading The Horde:  How the Mongols Changed the World, a new book by Marie Favereau, an associate professor of history at Paris Nanterre University.  I decided to read it because I knew very little about Mongol history and culture and was intrigued by the title.  The book met my expectations and filled a gap in my knowledge of the contributions that Chinggus Khan (Genghis Kahn) and his descendants made to Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe.  They were much more than just a “horde” of raiders on horseback and had an appreciation for commerce, religious freedom, and building a political organization across vast expanses of the Asian, African and European continents.  Favereau makes the case that the Mongols were a force for global development comparable to the more familiar Western and Mediterranean empires of old.  Their nomadic way of life unfortunately “left few architectural and lexical markers of their imprint on the world.”  There are no great Mongol cities and monuments

I found it an interesting read and recommend it without reservation to anyone wanting to know more about the Mongol people.

Below are excerpts from a number of reviews.



“Outstanding, original, and revolutionary. Favereau subjects the Mongols to a much-needed reevaluation, showing how they were able not only to conquer but to control a vast empire. A remarkable book.”—Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

“The Mongols have been ill-served by history, the victims of an unfortunate mixture of prejudice and perplexity… The Horde flourished, in Favereau’s fresh, persuasive telling, precisely because it was not the one-trick homicidal rabble of legend.”—The Wall Street Journal

“In medieval European times, the Mongols ruled a vast area of the Eurasian landmass stretching as far to the west as modern Ukraine. Favereau, a French specialist on nomadic empires, achieves the exceptional feat of writing about this era in a way that is accessible to general readers as well as scholarly.”—Tony Barber, Financial Times

“Fascinating… The Mongols were a sophisticated people with an impressive talent for government and a sensitive relationship with the natural world… An impressively researched and intelligently reasoned book that will be welcomed by historians of the Mongol Empire.”—Gerard DeGroot, The Times

“A major achievement: it is thorough, accurate and complex, yet also accessible to a broad readership. Her blow-by-blow account of Mongol life and politics as one ruler falls and another rises is the most complete we have. Even better, the book is not solely focused on the Mongols. Favereau is an integrative historian committed to showing how the Horde influenced other peoples and shaped world history… Readers will enjoy the richness and clarity of The Horde.”—Timothy Brook, Literary Review

The Horde is not the first history to challenge the depiction of the Mongol Empire as governed solely by ruthless conquerors and plunderers, but it is the most nuanced and comprehensive history.”—Francis P. Sempa, New York Journal of Books

“The first book to be devoted exclusively to the Golden Horde. It is at once a microhistory, dense with regional politics and war, and a survey of the Horde’s wider influence.”—Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books

“In The Horde, an ambitiously revisionist account of the Mongol Empire, Favereau presents the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century conquerors of the steppe as sophisticated stewards of globalism, rulers who practiced remarkable tolerance, and stimulated far-reaching economic growth.”—Dinyar Patel, Scroll

“It is far too often forgotten that Asia’s nomadic empires, from the Sogdians and Huns through the Parthians and Seljuks, were key drivers of greater Asia’s rich cultural diversity. This extraordinary book vividly details how the nomadic Mongols operated the largest empire of the premodern world, through practices that continue to shape today’s world.”—Parag Khanna, author of The Future Is Asian

“A deeply compelling, sympathetic, and highly engaging account of how the Horde was created and of its lasting impact on the evolution of what we now call ‘globalization.’ Favereau’s book will transform our understanding of world history.”—Anthony Pagden, author of Worlds at War

“Favereau’s detailed and objective account of the Mongol conquest and rule of Russia rescues the era from dark neglect and prejudice to reveal its powerful positive and negative influences in shaping modern Eurasia. This highly readable and deeply informed work fills in one of history’s important missing chapters.”—Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan and the Quest for God

“Combining material and textual sources, Favereau has written the best book on the Jochid Khanate: the first to see events resolutely from a Jochid perspective, without foreclosing on the vast contexts that bind the history of the Horde to that of Eurasia and the world.”—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, author of Pathfinders

“In this riveting book, Favereau shows how the most enduring descendants of Chinggis Khan’s Mongol imperium—the Western or ‘Golden’ Horde—fashioned an exceptionally resilient imperial system with far-reaching influence in western Eurasia. She has challenged us to think afresh about how mobility and empire can be fused into dynamic political and cultural forms.”—John Darwin, author of After Tamerlane

“Eye-opening… A meaningful corrective to popular misconceptions about Mongols’ role in world history.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rather than being the murderous mob depicted in film and popular history, the Mongol horde, this book reveals, was a complex Euro-Asian culture… [Favereau] dispels the myth that it was just a rampaging mass of warriors; it possessed great governing skills, was adept at social relationships, and remained a major force on the Eurasian landmass until it began to withdraw eastward after the Black Death.”—Kirkus Reviews



Comments are closed.