On the Trail of Genghis Khan: Book summary and reviews of On the Trail of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope

On the Trail of Genghis Khan

An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads

By Tim Cope

On the Trail of Genghis Khan
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    528 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An exciting, detailed account of man versus adversity." - Kirkus

"Weaving acute observations, honest introspection, and a sense of history, Cope crafts a marvelously perceptive travelogue of an audicous odyssey." - Booklist

"Tim Cope's exploration across the continents on horseback grew into a quest through history and then on odyssey deep into the human heart. In exploring some of the most remote places on earth, he brings us back to ourselves and to a better understanding of our place in the world today." - Jack Weatherfod, author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

"In some ways the most reassuring thing about On the Trail of Genghis Khan is that, in a world full of people and connections and easy means of gratification, someone with enough courage and curiousity can still find a place to get lost. And, in doing so, can still come to understand life on totally foreign terms." - Nick Reding, author of The Last Cowboys at the end of the World and Methland

"An epic tale of an epic journey, told with beauty and sensitivity. For anyone who loves adventure and traveling off the beaten track, this is a must read." - Tim Macartney-Snape, mountaineer, first Australian to summit Mount Everest.

"Tim Cope's epic journey is a reminder to us all that life should be lived to the fullest...His path is one we'd all love to follow." - Steve Waugh, Australian cricket legend.

"This is a staggering travel adventure, beautifully recounted, by an amazing man." - Peter FitzSimons, sports journalistm, commentator, and biographer.

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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.

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