Jack Weatherford provides an interesting and much more positive account of Genghis Khan’s life and legacy than I would have expected.
Although his name is now erroneously associated with terror and slaughter, he showed surprising restraint during a time when few others in power did. He allowed freedom of religion, encouraged free trade, developed a paper currency, and observed diplomatic immunity. As he encountered new cultures, he adopted or adapted their best practices, and constantly updated his military strategies.
In 25 years, his army amassed a greater empire than the Romans had been able to achieve in 400. Whether judged on population or land area, it was twice as large as that of any other individual in history.
Genghis Khan, alongside Augustus, now tops my list of leaders I truly respect!