Friday, June 17, 2005

Genghis (Jenghiz) Khan got a "bad rap"

In a recent post Abe noted a politically correct correct treatment of Genghis Khan in modern American textbooks. While I have no tolerance for diluted (and wrongheaded) textbooks, I must step in and defend the name of Genghis Khan, who has suffered from terrible P.R. for centuries. John Woods, a University of Chicago professor of Central Asian history and the academic director of the current expedition to locate the tomb of Genghis Khan, paints a more complete picture than is typically presented. A sound-byte synopsis of Dr. Woods' work is that "Genghis Khan was as much of a hero and as much of a villan as Alexander the Great."

More details may be found in an audio interview at the following location. It is well worth a listen (at least for the first few minutes).

This recording is from Milt Rosenberg's Extension 720 program on WGN radio in Chicago. It is generally a wonderful program and it is very frequently audible at 720 on the AM band in Lincoln (despite the 500 mile distance.)

The textbook referred to in the original post is most likely guilty of mushy thinking, but I just had to give old Genghis his due...

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