In the space of a mere 20 years Gengis Khan rallied all the tribes of Mongolia and put Mongol society under a codified set of laws, much admired by Western travellers. At the head of his superbly disciplined army, he then embarked on the conquest of China. Hardly had Beijing fallen to him then he was off again, this time to lay waste to the Middle East. As the sun set over the land of the Thousand and One Nights, he summoned a famed Taoist to teach him the secrets of "long life" - as if, now that he was master of the world, he wished to conquer other domains than those that could be subjugated by the sword. From the 13th centure, the Mongol empire has been shrouded in mystery, and legends abound - the name of Gengis Khan is, to this day, synonymous with terror. Michael Hoang provides a different picture, showing that the "bloodthirsty barbarian" was also a visionary statesman and that behind the Oriental despot lay a strategist of genius. The book also provides insight into Mongol society and culture.