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Thomas Wolfe’s novel “Look Homeward, Angel” contained thinly disguised portrayals of many local people from his hometown (read more)

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Featured Article: Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan (1162 – 1227), the founder of the largest contiguous land empire, the Mongol Empire, ever established. He was the son of Yesugei, head of the Borjigin clan, and his wife, Hoelun. Born as Temüjin, he united the Mongol tribes and forged a powerful army based on meritocracy, and became one of the most successful military leaders in history. He believed himself commissioned by heaven to establish a world empire.

Starting with the conquest of Western Xia in northern China and consolidating through numerous campaigns, including against Khwarezmid Empire in Persia, Genghis Khan laid the foundation for an empire that was to leave an indelible mark on world history. Several centuries of Mongol rule across the Eurasian landmass—a period that some refer to as Pax Mongolica—radically altered the demography and geopolitics of these areas. The Mongol Empire ended up ruling, or at least briefly conquering, large parts of modern day China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Korea, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Kuwait, Poland, and Hungary.

Genghis Kahn's forces were practically invincible, as they combined mobility, discipline, adaptability, strategy, strength, and endurance in direct battle with skills in intelligence gathering, psychological warfare, siege warfare, and superb communications. In the aftermath of the battles he led, Genghis Khan established an empire that brought peace, stability, and unity to much of central and eastern Asia, and practiced religious tolerance to a remarkable degree at a time when conformity to the doctrines of the established church was rigidly policed in many European countries. Before becoming a Khan, Temüjin united the many Turkic-Mongol confederations of Central Asia, giving a common identity to what had previously been a territory of nomadic tribes.

While his image in much of the world is that of a ruthless, bloodthirsty conqueror, Genghis Khan is celebrated as a hero in Mongolia, where he is seen as the father of the Mongol Nation, who brought law, literacy, and learning to his people. The image of his legacy has been clouded by association with the exploits of his lesser, and sometimes dissolute, successors who lacked his own disciplines and his deference to shamanistic spiritual traditions, that would lead him at times to commune alone with the blue sky before undertaking military operations.

Popular Article: Biome

Tundra coastal vegetation Alaska.jpg
A biome, or "major life zone," is a large geographic region of the earth's surface with distinctive plant and animal communities. There are both terrestrial biomes, such as grasslands and tropical rain forests, and aquatic biomes, such as estuaries.

A biome may also be defined as an extensive ecosystem (ecological unit of living organisms and their abiotic environment) spread over a wide geographic area, or as a grouping of many ecosystems that share similar environmental features and communities (organisms living together in a certain area). Collectively, biomes comprise the biosphere, which is the thin area of the earth's surface where all organisms live.

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