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On the Trail of Genghis Khan
Cover of On the Trail of Genghis Khan
On the Trail of Genghis Khan
An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads
by Tim Cope
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Guided by a Kazakh aphorism—"To understand the wolf, you must put the skin of a wolf on and look through its eyes"—adventurer Tim Cope undertook a journey not successfully completed since the days of Genghis Khan: he traveled by horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from the ancient capital of Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary. It was an incredible six-thousand-mile, three-year-long trip across formidable landscape—and into the heart of the nomadic way of life that dominated this region for thousands of years, transforming Western Europe through its conquering armies.

Cope's trek takes him through wolf-infested plateaus, over glaciers and the subzero "starving steppe," the scorching Kazakh desert, and the deep forests and treacherous mountains of the Carpathians. Alone except for a trusty dog (and a succession of thirteen horses, many stolen from him along the way), he encounters incredible hospitality from those who welcome him along the way, a tradition that is the linchpin of human survival on the steppe. Immersed in the land and its people, Cope is witness to the rich past and often painful complexities of the present still recovering from Soviet rule. On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a celebration and an elegy for the nomadic way of life—its freedom, its closeness to the land, its animals, and moods—and a narrative full of romance, intelligence, and drama.

Guided by a Kazakh aphorism—"To understand the wolf, you must put the skin of a wolf on and look through its eyes"—adventurer Tim Cope undertook a journey not successfully completed since the days of Genghis Khan: he traveled by horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from the ancient capital of Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary. It was an incredible six-thousand-mile, three-year-long trip across formidable landscape—and into the heart of the nomadic way of life that dominated this region for thousands of years, transforming Western Europe through its conquering armies.

Cope's trek takes him through wolf-infested plateaus, over glaciers and the subzero "starving steppe," the scorching Kazakh desert, and the deep forests and treacherous mountains of the Carpathians. Alone except for a trusty dog (and a succession of thirteen horses, many stolen from him along the way), he encounters incredible hospitality from those who welcome him along the way, a tradition that is the linchpin of human survival on the steppe. Immersed in the land and its people, Cope is witness to the rich past and often painful complexities of the present still recovering from Soviet rule. On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a celebration and an elegy for the nomadic way of life—its freedom, its closeness to the land, its animals, and moods—and a narrative full of romance, intelligence, and drama.

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About the Author-
  • Tim Cope is a professional adventurer, author, filmmaker, and motivational speaker. He has worked as a guide in Antarctica, studied as a wilderness guide in the Finnish and Russian Arctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, and rowed a boat through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. His book Off the Rails: Moscow to Beijing on Recumbent Bikes was published by Penguin Australia; he created a documentary of the same name for ABC Australia, as well as a six-part series "The Trail of Genghis Khan," covering the journey of this book. He lives in Victoria, Australia.

    timcopejourneys.com

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2013

    Never having ridden a horse did not discourage young Australian adventurer and filmmaker Cope from realizing his dream: being the first person in 700 years to repeat successfully Genghis Khan's remarkable journey. The trip took three years to complete and encompassed parts of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Hungary. Detailed maps that include notes on Cope's activities give readers a sense of his ongoing challenge. He dealt with horse thieves, wolves, mountains, steppes, deserts, and temperatures ranging from -50 to +50 degrees Celsius. Sadly, Cope abandoned his trip when his father was killed in an automobile accident. The author wanted to learn about Mongolia's history, culture, and relationship with the environment. Not only did he succeed but he produced a documentary to share his knowledge. The epilog serves to update readers on the sometimes moving lives and situations of the people Cope met on the trail, including 160 families who welcomed him. VERDICT Adventure buffs will want to get in the saddle and visit an area that might be less welcoming in the future.--Susan G. Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads
Tim Cope
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