The Horde

How the Mongols Changed the World

Hardcover, 384 pages

Published April 20, 2021 by Belknap Press.

Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (1 review)

The Mongols are known for one thing: conquest. But in this first comprehensive history of the Horde, the western portion of the Mongol empire that arose after the death of Chinggis Khan, Marie Favereau takes us inside one of the most powerful engines of economic integration in world history to show that their accomplishments extended far beyond the battlefield. Central to the extraordinary commercial boom that brought distant civilizations in contact for the first time, the Horde had a unique political regime—a complex power-sharing arrangement between the khan and nobility—that rewarded skillful administrators and fostered a mobile, innovative economic order. From their capital on the lower Volga River, the Mongols influenced state structures in Russia and across the Islamic world, disseminated sophisticated theories about the natural world, and introduced new ideas of religious tolerance.

An eloquent, ambitious, and definitive portrait of an empire that has long been too little understood, …

4 editions


5 stars

This meticulously researched book, brimming with insights, shatters the simplistic image of the Mongols as barbaric conquerors and instead paints a vivid picture of a complex and flexible empire. Favereau sheds light on the ingenious social and political structures that underpinned the Horde's success and reveals a regime that fostered trade, religious tolerance, and a surprisingly sophisticated administration.

The book's greatest strength is its ability to challenge conventional narratives. Far from existing solely for conquest, Favereau argues that the Horde was a central hub for the Eurasian commercial boom. The “Mongol Exchange” facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas across vast distances, leaving an undeniable mark on the world we live in today.

As she concludes ”Nomads drove global history, too, and none more so than the people of the Horde.”