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Genghis Khan’s Greatest General: Subotai the Valiant Paperback – March 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (March 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806137347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806137346
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Gabriel, a historian, is Adjunct Professor of Humanities and Ethics at Daniel Webster College. He is the author of forty books, including The Great Battles of Antiquity, The Great Armies of Antiquity, and Great Captains of Antiquity.

Customer Reviews

An interesting, readable and fairly unique book.
Elizabeth A. Root
There are actually many primary Mongol sources, but this author decided to rely entirely on the rather brief Secret History of the Mongols.
M. White
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in military history.
Klaus K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say I really enjoyed this book, but I love reading about Mongolian military campaigns so I am easy to please. There is a very finite amount of information available on Subotai the man, so Gabriel needs to be cut a little slack if he filled the book with a lot of other information.

The author is absolutely correct that not enough attention is paid by military historians regarding the incredibly talented field staff that commanded the forces of Genghis Khan. Perhaps a better book would rather have covered all the main staff figures instead of just Subotai. Arguments can be made of the greatness of Jochi, Mugali, Jebe and others, and whether Subotai was more brilliant is hard to know.

Even though I have read considerable Mongol history, I found some very useful information and really did enjoy reading the book. For example the description on p120 regarding the Battle of Liegnitz, "...The Hungarians had been steppe dwelling horse archers before settling in the Danube basin less than 2 centuries earlier. They were well led and accustomed to the tactics of mobile warfare as practiced by the Mongols. Its an interesting question to investigate: at what distance were the Mongol's neighbors aware of their style and capabilities. Not an easy question to answer.

In the Sajo River campaign section he also adds, "...Bella's army was perhaps 100,000 strong, and outnumbered the Mongols. Comprising numerous contingents of armored knights, the major part of this army of former Magyar nomads was horse archers thoroughly familiar with Mongol tactics."

I think everything I read specifically concerning Subotai I had already read and reread via other sources, but that is not surprising. The book is well illustrated with maps and diagrams and various images of Mongols and their gear. The end of the book includes a good bibliography, though it is far from complete. If you're a Mongol fan, than I highly recommend the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on August 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
An interesting, readable and fairly unique book. There are a number of books discuss the Mongol military history, but Gabriel makes point that although Mongol military history is covered in books on that particular subject, it is neglected in general military history, and one of his purposes in writing this book is the urge a rectification of the omission. I don't know of any other books on the Mongols that focus on one of the generals -- generally biographies are strictly about Chinghis Khan and Kublai Khan. This is a great pity: even a book of short biographies of other personalities could add enormously to one's understanding of the period. Gabriel here sticks pretty closely to Subotai military career, except in discussing the beginning and end of his life. Personally, if there is more information, I wish it was included, because the biographies of characters who are poorly documented or less important can be the vehicle for a general exploration of a typical life of that class and era. That of course is a personal opinion, and I don't fault the book on that account. Recommended to people interested in Asian and military history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Douglas John Johnson on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion Richard Gabriel is a master at making historical treatise easy AND enjoyable reading. His depth of research clearly shows through. I look forward to reading any and all of his works.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Augustine M. Pale Sr. on June 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a book about Mongol tactics and campaigns it was quite good, as a book about Subotai Bagatur it fell a bit short of my expectations. I have read a few books about Genghis Khan and this one doesn't deviate to far from what I have learned and I give the author some points for the graphs and such detailing mongol tactics, but Gabriel leaves quite a few factual points unattended. At some points he explains events very thoroughly and at other points he gives you educated guesses, which for me was a bit of a downer.

He does deserve credit for trying to undertake a project such as a biography of Subotai, but I am forced to wonder if he just used the title to grab attention, because the main points are not even about Subotai. This book would be much smaller if it were just left to Subotai because there is so much filler that is unrelated, yet still interesting, to the title of the book.

You might be better off picking a different book unless you really want to know what little there is to know about Subotai.
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Format: Paperback
Great story of the strategic genius and thinking of the greatest of Mongul generals. This guy was centuries ahead of other military leaders of his time and but for the death of Genghis's heir we may all be speaking Mongolian!
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Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book! I enjoyed
Dr. Gabriel's attention to tactical and
historical detail.

Jim Haley
Former Captain of United States Marines
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not interested in personal lives. Gabriel gives sharp, succinct chapters on How Khan could use his forces to conquer
from China To Hungary.
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