The Only Six Books You Need About Inner Mongolia
Peng Xiaoling
/SOURCE : Yicai
The Only Six Books You Need About Inner Mongolia

(Yicai Global) Aug. 14 -- China's first provincial-level ethnic autonomous region, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, celebrated its 70th anniversary last week.

Apart from yurts, vast prairies and morin khuur (a bowed stringed instrument unique to Mongolia), Inner Mongolia frequently reminds people of the Mongol Empire that once stretched across Asia and Europe and was founded by the Great Khan, Genghis Khan, as well as the Yuan Dynasty that Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo eloquently depicted in his celebrated travelogue, The Travels of Marco Polo.

The Mongol Empire has remained an intriguing topic of research for many Chinese and foreign historians and scholars. Their writings offer us insights into the glory of the ancient empire, and how Genghis Khan dealt with neighboring Asian nations.

The Rise and Fall of the Mongol Empire (I and II)

Author: Sugiyama Masaaki  (Japan)

Social Sciences Academic Press

December 2015

Sugiyama Masaaki is an eminent scholar of Mongolian and Yuan history. He is a proficient speaker of more than ten languages including Chinese, Mongolian and Persian. His works combine Chinese and Persian historical data to reach new conclusions.

The book examines the fall of the Mongol Empire based on Persian and Chinese historical writing. The author believes that major world powers that existed before the rise of western European countries, such as the Timurid, Ottoman, Russian, Mughal, Ming and Qing empires, are all intrinsically connected with the Mongol Empire. He concluded that traces of the Mongolian period could be found during the European-centric Age of Exploration in the late 15th century and early 16th century and that it was the demise of the Mongol Empire that ushered in the modern age as we know it.

The Challenge to Kublai

Author: Sugiyama Masaaki (Japan)

Social Sciences Academic Press

June 2013

This is another one of Sugiyama Masaaki's masterpieces.

Mongke Khan died unexpectedly in 1259 without a successor before he could conquer southern China. His brother Kublai became a claimant to the throne, but was confronted with numerous challenges. Domestically, he needed to defeat other pretenders and ensure the prosperity and stability of the Mongol community. Kublai managed to vanquish the southern Song government, and successfully took over China's wealthy southern regions. Internationally, the new Great Khan was faced with the daunting task of building a new global governance and economic system. How did he tackle conflicts with land and maritime powers and trade empires in Asia and Europe?

Unlike previous studies, the Japanese historian's work looks at Kublai's achievements in the context of world history, recognizing him as a key figure in an emerging political and economic system covering vast territories from the Mediterranean to the western Pacific. This is the earliest international system in the modern age, and the Mongol Empire created its fundamental structure and provided the momentum for its continued existence.

The author offers a unique perspective on the cause for the demise of the Mongol Empire and its economic system -- Kublai envisaged an excellent political and economic system, but his ideas were far beyond his time, and most of his ideals were unattainable until the rise of western European countries many years later.

Central Asia Under the Mongols

Author: G. D. Gulati (India)

Social Sciences Academic Press

May 2017

As one of the latest publications on Mongolian history, Central Asia Under the Mongols is a study of Chagatai Khanate (1227 to 1580), a kingdom created by Chagatai Khan, the second son of Genghis Khan. Chagatai Khanate ruled Central Asia for more than 350 years, and fostered close ties with neighboring political entities such as India and China's Central Plain (during the Yuan and Ming dynasties). The book describes political, economic and business activities under the rule of Chagatai with an emphasis on the impact of the development of animal husbandry and commerce on the entire world. The author concludes that the Mongols linked the East with the West by globalizing business networks and trade activities in Central Asia.

The World's History Seen From the Nomadic Point of View

Author: Sugiyama Masaaki (Japan)

Social Sciences Academic Press

February 2014

The Mongols are a typical nomadic people, and nomads are usually portrayed as barbaric invaders and destruction-inflicting militarists in historical literature.

As Japan's most established scholar on nomadic people and Mongolian history, Sugiyama Masaaki goes beyond the traditional eastern European or China-centric narratives, and recreates global history from the perspective of nomads, reshaping readers' perception of nomadic groups.

The author convincingly argues that nomads drove the evolution of societies in Europe and Asia from the 4th to the 14th century. Nomadic people can move across vast territories at an incredible speed, and agricultural societies are no match for them in this respect. Nomads live modestly, love trade and value cultural tolerance. These qualities enabled them to dominate or start economic, political, military and cultural revolutions in Eurasian countries over more than 1,000 years between the 4th and the 14th centuries. The glory of nomadic civilization reached a peak with the rise of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, a period that is widely seen as a watershed in world history.

The Nomad's Choice

Author: Wang Ming-Ke

Guangxi Normal University Press

December 2008

The author is a leading Taiwanese anthropologist. He conducted field studies in Qiang communities in Sichuan in the 1990s, and later visited Inner Mongolia and northwestern Sichuan several times to study local Mongolian and Tibetan nomadic economies.

The Nomad's Choice is the product of his studies on nomadic societies. He concluded, interactions between rulers of China's Central Plain and northern nomadic tribes created three fringe lifestyles in the country, or three societal ecosystems -- the Huns in Mongolia, the western Qiang of the Ganqing Plateau Valley and the Xianbei and the Wuhuan in northeastern forests. Many historical events that took place in Chinese history can be traced back to these three lifestyles that came into being in the Han Dynasty. The author seeks to redefine the historical relationship between the Han, Manchu, Mongolian and Tibetan ethnicities under the current Chinese regime, drawing on contextualized and reflective historical knowledge.

Inner Asian Frontiers of China

Author: Owen Lattimore (US)

Jiangsu People's Publishing Ltd.

July 2010

The author is a prominent sinologist and Mongolian scholar in the United States. Lattimore lived in China as a child and a teenager, and has visited North China, Mongolia and Central Asia. He has developed his own theories on the histories and societies of these regions. As the author's most influential publication, Inner Asian Frontiers of China contains in-depth and insightful analyses about the ecological environment, ethnic minorities, mode of production, social formation and historical evolution of four of China's inland border regions (Northeast, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet). The discussions reveal the mutual dependence between inland cities and the four areas, as well as the rich and diverse histories of these inland border regions.

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Keywords: History , Genghis Khan , Kublai , Mongolia