Tamerlane

  • by Harold Lamb
  • Narrated by Charlton Griffin
  • 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sweeping out of Central Asia in the last half of the 14th century came the Tatar armies of Timur, known as Tamerlane in the West, and one of history's supremely gifted military leaders. With consummate skill, Tamerlane cobbled together a kingdom from the tattered leftovers of various Mongol fiefdoms. He then enlarged that fiefdom into a large and menacing power in the center of Asia. But when the mighty Mongolian empire decided to crush out this upstart rival, it was too late. Tamerlane not only defeats the Mongols, but goes on to vanquish the Persians, the Indians and the mighty Ottoman Turks in successive wars. It was one of the most astounding developments imaginable, doubly so because of its swiftness and decisiveness. And at the time of his death in 1405, Tamerlane was on his way to invade and subdue China with an army of 200,000. Ruling from his fabulous capital of Samarkand, he was a fascinating, controversial, and contradictory tyrant. He was both a destroyer and a builder, a barbarian and a cultured gentleman. He was ostensibly Muslim, but was the scourge of Muslim states, who vilify him to this day. The Tatar empire at his death approached the dimensions of the earlier Khans of Mongolia, yet it melted away immediately after his passing. In yet another superb historical work, Harold Lamb brings the mighty Tatar leader to vivid life and shows how this ruthless commander used his superior intellect and magnetic leadership to overcome one obstacle after another. Tamerlane was truly one of the most remarkable personalities ever to emerge from the steppes of Central Asia.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The man that conquered Afganistan

Great book, very infomative on the culture, traditions, and motivations of a forgotten people. Lamb points out that there have only been three successful conquers. Alexander, Ghengis Khan, and Tamerlain.
Tamerlain was a tarter, not a mongol as most people believe. Great story well written. Kept my interest even while driving in the snow at night (sleepy time!)
The author looked at the facts--the history having been written by those he defeated--and gave an accurate picture of an ignored giant of history!
I also recommend Lambs book on Ghengis Khan.
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- curt

A Monster Depicted A Military Figure

Although the author describes some of Tamerlane's atrocities, he is far too kind to a brutal monomaniacal warlord.

Tamerlane is estimated to have killed 17,000,000 people, about 5% of Earth's population at the time. He would have enslaved huge numbers, maimed or wounded others, and left orphans and widows.

His attacks stretched from the Levant to China. He eradicated most of the Christians from Asia. Baghdad never recovered from his sack of that city. An equal opportunity aggressor, he attacked Hindus in Delhi and other cities. To what end? He claimed to be the aligned with Allah but he slaughtered many Muslims. Personal glory, captives, plunder is a more likely motivation.

Harold Lamb is a popular writer, not a serious historian. Many of his comparisons of tactics are related to what Napoleon did. Lamb also has biographies about Hannibal, Suleiman, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan, all of whom waged wars of aggression.

The narration is too rapid. There are too many characters to keep track requiring rewinding. An accompanying map and chronology would have been helpful.

It should be noted that Chechnya was Tamerlane's stomping ground and that radicalized older of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers was named after Tamerlane, namely, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
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- Nikoli Gogol

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-10-2007
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur