Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Jack Weatherford, a scholar from the US, has come to Việt Nam to introduce the Vietnamese version of his book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.
The book was first published in 2004. It is a narrative of the rise and influence of Genghis Khan and his successors, and their influence on European civilisation.
Weatherford provides a different slant on Genghis Khan that has been typical in most Western accounts, attributing positive cultural effects to his rule.
Weatherford is a professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota.
He said at the book launch on Saturday he was happy to introduce the book in Việt Nam because "it’s a country he loves and respects".
US scholar Jack Weatherford has introduced his book in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of Omega Plus Book Company
His father was affected by Agent Orange during the US war in Việt Nam, a sad chapter in his life but also the reason why he respected both the pain and the bravery of the Vietnamese people.
Weatherford explored Khan’s legacy and influence. He explained how the world’s greatest conqueror used religious freedom to rule the largest land empire in history.
“Everyone knows the name, but they can’t exactly remember what he did other than kill a lot of people,” Weatherford said. “There’s more to the story, and I’m interested in more to the story.”
He said he hoped his book, and his lecture, would be an affirmation of religious freedom.
Khan’s concept of it had been violated for centuries and he said a solution needed to be found.
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors to loot the civilised world.
But the truth was that Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, according to Weatherford. — VNS