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Meeting with John Man, Author of “Genghis Khan”, “Khublai Khan”, “Marco Polo”

Mongolian Art and Culture is delighted to facilitate and support the meeting of John Man, author of “Genghis Khan”, “Khublai Khan”, “Marco Polo” with the Mongolian community in the UK. We will make an introduction to the Mongolian artists, who were involved in the making of Marco Polo, particularly Altan Urag’s contract with Hollywood, which Unurmaa Janchiv of Mongolian Art & Culture in London negotiated on thei behalf in capacity of their manager in Europe.

“Оюунлаг Оршихуй” цуврал уулзалтын №11(17) дугаарт “Марко Поло”, “Чингис хаан: Амьдрал, үхэл”, “Атилла”, “Хубилай”, “Монголын эзэнт гүрэн” зэрэг номын зохиолч, түүхч Жон Мэн уригдан оролцож байна. Уулзалт ярилцлага Монгол Улсаас ИБУИНВУ-д суугаа ЭСЯ-ны уулзалтын танхимд 1-р сарын 23-ний өдөр 18.30 цагаас эхэлнэ. Та бүхнийг хүрэлцэн ирэхийг урьж байна.

Ерөнхий Зохион Байгуулагч:
МУ-аас ИБУИНВУ-д Суугаа ЭСЯам
Британийн Монголчуудын Холбоо
Цахим Өртөө Холбоо ТББ

Хамтран Зохион Байгуулагч:
Лондон дах Монголын Соёл Урлаг ТББ
“Azaa Studio” гэрэл зургийн студи
“Монгол Аурора” ХХК
Их Британи дах Монгол Оюутны Холбоо

John Man

Our pre-meeting interview with John Man
Уулзалтын өмнөх бие халаах ярилцлага
Q: How many books have you written on Mongolia and its history and why?
A: Six in all. I did Mongolian at the School of Oriental and African Studies, so long ago that I forgot it, and never had a chance to go, until the collapse of the Soviet Union. My first book on Mongolia was Gobi, in 1997, which is now out of date. My travels showed me that I had missed the point – the key to Mongolia and the Mongol Empire is, of course, Genghis. It also showed me that personal experience is vital. So then came more travel in Mongolia, China and Central Asia, from which came Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, updated in 2009. The story then continues, with Kublai Khan and Xanadu (now out in the US as Marco Polo). I also wanted to explain why Genghis was such a great leader, so I did a short book on him in the light of modern leadership theory, The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan, mainly for business readers (published in Mongolian, ЧИНГИС ХААНЫ МАНЛАЙЛЫН НУУЦ). Last year I brought all these themes together in one volume, The Mongol Empire.
Q: Many people get confused about your book “Marco Polo” and the “Marco Polo” TV series. Can you explain why and what you think of the TV series?
A: My book on Marco Polo, Xanadu, came out first in the UK in 2009. Meanwhile, though I didn’t know it, John Fusco was working on his 10-part TV series, which was backed by Harvey Weinstein and sold to Netflix. While researching and writing, John Fusco found my book, and liked it. That persuaded my American publishers, HarperCollins, to publish Xanadu in the US, renaming it Marco Polo to get whatever publicity they could from the Netflix series, which launched in December 2014. It says on the front of the book ‘Source for the Netflix series’, but we are changing that to something more accurate: ‘The History Behind the Netflix series.’ Reviews for the series have not been good, in fact terrible, and anyone who knows the facts can see why. But John Fusco is not only an expert in the history – he is also a successful film writer, and knows how to adapt history to appeal to Netflix’s 36 million (yes – 36 million!) subscribers, who do not read reviews. Actually, it is incredibly popular, so popular that John Fusco has been commissioned to write another 10-part series. Marco Polo will be in the public eye for years to come, and I hope my book will be as well.
Q: How do you see the future of Mongol Studies in the UK?
A: In recognition of Mongolia’s growing importance, I have suggested to SOAS that they re-start Mongol Studies, which was dropped about 15 years ago. SOAS is fully behind the idea, which also has the backing of HE Tulga Narhuu, the Mongolian Ambassador. We are now starting the process of raising funds, which will, we think, take between a year and two years. We hope to fund a professorship, initially for post-graduates interested in Mongolian business, economics and politics, and also scholarships for Mongolians wishing to study in any of SOAS’s many departments. Anyone who has contacts or is just interested – please be in touch!UJ: Thank you John and we look forward to seeing you this Friday.


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