On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads

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A&C Black, Jan 1, 2013 - Eurasia - 509 pages
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 still lead today, 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 travelling three years and 10,000 kilometres on horseback, accompanied by his dog Tigon, Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. Along the way, he was taken in by people who taught him the traditional ways and told him their recent history: Stalin's push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steepe and forced collectivism that in Kazakhstan alone led to the loss of several million livestock and the starvation of more than a million nomads. Today Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.
 

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User Review  - Teufle - LibraryThing

A wonderful read. While the story teller often seemed to hid or mask his true thoughts and motives from the reader it was never the less a fact filled adventure that had me learning of, and longing for such an adventure, and such a past and place as he paints in this book. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

This book is many things. The document of an unquenchable wanderlust. An exercise in ethnography. A bearing of witness to a fading way of life. Mostly though, it's really about the author dealing with ... Read full review

Contents

Mongolian Dreaming
1
UKRAINE
17
The Last Nomad Nation
22
WolfTotem
36
A Fine Line to the West
49
Mongolia xii
61
The Roaring River Mountain
69
KAZAKHSTAN
86
Lost Hordes in Europe
273
Cossack Borderlands
291
The Timashevsk Maa
309
CRIMEA
322
Crimea
324
Where Two Worlds Meet
325
The Return of the Crimean Tatars
341
Ukraine
360

Stalins Shambala
88
Kazakhstan 9091
90
Zud
111
Tokym Kagu Bastan
139
Balkhash
156
Wife Stealing and Other Legends of Tasaral
170
The Starving Steppe
181
The Place That God Forgot
193
Otamal
211
Ships of the Desert
229
The Oil Road
251
RUSSIA
262
Russia
272
Crossroads
361
Taking the Reins
385
Among the Hutsuls
403
Carpathians
407
Hungary
424
The End of the World
425
Epilogue
447
Acknowledgments
457
Notes
463
Glossary
481
Selected Bibliography
493
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Tim Cope, F.R.G.S., is an adventurer, author, filmmaker andmotivational speaker with a special interest in Central Asia and the statesof the former Soviet Union. He has studied as a wilderness guide in theFinnish and Russian subarctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China,and rowed a boat along the Yenisey River through Siberia to the ArcticOcean. He is the author of Off the Rails: Moscow to Beijing onRecumbent Bikes. He is the creator of several documentary films,including the award-winning series 'The Trail of Genghis Khan', whichcovers the journey of this book. He lives in Victoria, Australia. www.timcopejourneys.com

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