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

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Sep 24, 2013 - Travel - 509 pages

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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

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

List of Maps ix
1
Z The Last Nomad Nation
22
WolfTotem
36
A Fine Line to the West
49
LIST OF MAPS 1 Mongolia xii
61
Z The Mongol Empire 16
62
The Roaring River Mountain
69
K A Z A K H 5 TA N 6 Stalins Shambala
88
R U S S A 16 Lost Hordes in Europe
273
Cossack Borderlands
291
The Timashevsk Mafia
309
Crimea
324
R l M E A 19 Where Two Worlds Meet
325
The Return of the Crimean Tatars
341
Ukraine
360
U K R A l N
361

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
272
Taking the Reins
385
Among the Hutsuls
403
Carpathians
407
Hungary
424
H U N G A R
425
Epilogue
447
Notes
463
Glossary
481
Index
497
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Tim Cope is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an award-winning adventurer, author, filmmaker and motivational speaker with a special interest in Central Asia and states of the former Soviet Union. He has studied as a wilderness guide in the Finnish and Russian Arctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, and rowed a boat 4500km through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. He lives in Victoria, Australia and travels annually to Mongolia as a trekking guide.

www.timcopejourneys.com

Bibliographic information