John Anthony Garnet Man
(born 15 May 1941) is a British historian and travel writer. His special interests are China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...
and the history of written communication. He takes particular pleasure in combining historical narrative with personal experience.
He studied German and French at Keble College, Oxford
Keble College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its main buildings are on Parks Road, opposite the University Museum and the University Parks. The college is bordered to the north by Keble Road, to the south by Museum Road, and to the west by Blackhall...
, before doing two postgraduate courses, a diploma in the History and Philosophy of Science at Oxford and Mongolian at the School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...
, completing the latter in 1968.
After working in journalism with Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...
and in publishing with Time-Life Books, he turned to writing, with occasional forays into film, TV and radio.
In the 1990s, he began a trilogy on the three major revolutions in writing: writing itself, the alphabet and printing with movable type. This has so far resulted in two books, Alpha Beta
and The Gutenberg Revolution
, both republished in 2009. The third, on the origin of writing, is on hold, because it depends on access to Iraq.
He returned to the subject of Mongolia with Gobi: Tracking the Desert
, the first book on the region since the 1920s. Work in Mongolia led to Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....
: Life, Death and Resurrection
, which has so far appeared in 18 languages. Attila the Hun
and Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...
: The Mongol King Who Remade China
completed a trilogy on Asian leaders.
The Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...
coincided with the British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...
exhibition (September 2007- April 2008). This was followed by The Great Wall
. The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan
combines history and leadership theory. Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...
: Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...
and the Discovery of the East
was published in autumn 2009, and Samurai: The Last Warrior
, the story of Saigō Takamori
was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history, living during the late Edo Period and early Meiji Era. He has been dubbed the last true samurai.-Early life:...
's doomed 1877 rebellion
The was a revolt of Satsuma ex-samurai against the Meiji government from January 29 to September 24, 1877, 9 years into the Meiji Era. It was the last, and the most serious, of a series of armed uprisings against the new government.-Background:...
against the Japanese emperor, was published in February 2011.
A revised edition of his book on Genghis Khan, with the results of an expedition up the mountain on which he is supposed to be buried, was upcoming in autumn 2010.
In 2007 John Man was awarded Mongolia's Friendship Medal for his contributions to UK-Mongolian relations.