The creator of the greatest empire the world has ever seen is one of history's immortals. In Central Asia, they still use his name to frighten children. In China, he is honoured as the founder of a dynasty, the Yuan. In Mongolia he is the father of the nation. In the USA, Time magazine in, voted Genghis Khan 'the most important person of the last millennium'. But how much do we really know about this man? How is it that an unlettered, unsophisticated warrior-nomad came to have such a profound effect on world politics that his influence can still be felt some 800 years later? He was born, named Temujin, around the year 1162 on the slopes of the now sacred mountain Burkhan Kaldun in Outer Mongolia. His childhood, viewed through the distorted, mythologizing lens of contemporary oral histories, includes all the usual tribulations of youth as well as a few less common ones - such as killing his brother at the age of thirteen in an argument over a dead bird. The man who emerged was a ruthless, brilliant tactician with a profound grasp of realpolitik, but one eye fixed firmly on his destiny.How Genghis united the deeply divided Mongol peoples and went on to rule a tract of land which stretched from China in the east to Poland in the west (a substantially larger area than was encompassed by the Roman empire at its zenith) is an epic tale of martial genius and breathtaking cruelty. John Man's towering achievement in this book, enriched by his experiences in China and Mongolia today, is to bring this little-known story vividly and viscerally to life.