On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads (hardback edition)


“This great journey gives the lie to any notion that the world is too much known. It’s an astonishing feat of courage and imagination, travelling in its own rich dimension—of nomad history and the horse.” — Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

On the Trail of Genghis Khan has become an Australian bestseller. In 2013 it was the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Banff International Mountain Film and Book Festival and in 2014 was shortlisted for the nonfiction category of the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA).

First published by Bloomsbury Worldwide (USA, UK, Australia/New Zealand, India) On The Trail of Genghis Khan is 511 pages, including a series of maps, 24 pages of colour photographs, glossary, and index.

There are two versions currently available for order on Tim’s website: the paperback version ($20) which is a compact lightweight version suitable for stashing in the backpack or handbag. The hardback edition ($60) is a limited version of only 20 remaining (not to be reprinted). The hardback edition is a larger format with larger maps and photographs, made to last it is ideal as a collectors item on the shelf or displaying on the coffee table.

On the Trail of Genghis Khan has been translated into German language (published by Piper Malik under the title Der Steppenreiter) and in Polish (published by Mundus as Na Szlaku Czyngis-Chana).


Inspired by a desire to understand the nomadic way of life, Australian adventurer Tim Cope embarked on a remarkable journey: 6,000 miles on horseback across the Eurasian steppe from Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Ukraine, to Hungary retracing the trail of Genghis Khan. From novice rider to travelling three years in the saddle, – accompanied by his Kazakh dog, Tigon – Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians.

Along the way Tim was taken in by people who taught him the traditional ways and recounted their recent history: Stalin’s push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steppe and forced collectivisation that in Kazakhstan alone led to the starvation of more than a million nomads. Today Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.

Five years in the making, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is Tim’s personal story of adventure, endurance –and at times tragedy-, and eventual triumph. Intelligently written, it is a narrative full of romance, history, and drama that ultimately celebrates the nomadic way of life —its freedom, its closeness to the land, its animals, and moods.

Praise for On The Trail of Genghis Khan:

“Vivid, insightful, thoughtful, with great narrative drive. A modern classic.”
— John Man, author of Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection

“[A] sensitive account both personal and historical… [Cope] infuses his ambitious account with the stories of the people and tales of the animals who inspired the journey, rendering the book heartfelt and memorable. An exciting, detailed account of man versus adversity.”
— Kirkus Magazine, review, USA.

“Tim Cope’s exploration across the continents on horseback grew into a quest through history and then an odyssey deep into the human heart. In exploring some of the most remote places on earth, he brings us back to ourselves and to a better understanding of our place in the world today.”
— Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan: And the Making of the Modern World

“One of the most vibrant and engaging narrators you may find. . . It is a vast journey . . . by turns informative, gripping and very moving.”
— Spectator

“Tim Cope is a beautiful explorer — by which I mean that he explores beautiful places, but also that he does it beautifully. This is a young man possessed of extraordinary courage, but also great sensitivity and respect. His writing, like his journeys, speaks to a heightened soul, operating at its highest potential. He is an inspiration to me and I believe he will be an inspiration for many. To anyone who believes that there are no worlds left to be discovered, I offer up the evidence of this magnificent tale.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, The Signature Of All Things

“In some ways the most reassuring thing about On the Trail of Genghis Khan is that, in a world too full of people and connections and easy means of gratification, someone with enough courage and curiosity can still find a place to get lost. And, in doing so, can still come to understand life on totally foreign terms. That Cope also writes beautifully about the experience makes this book one to treasure and remember.”
— Nick Reding, author of The Last Cowboys at the End of the World and Methland

“Tim Cope is a wise young man who knows how to travel, and why, and which details to record for the delight and enlightenment of his readers. I suspect that here we have a classic, likely to inspire generations yet unborn.”
— Dervla Murphy

“There are plenty of fine books written by people who go off on adventures and return to set their story to paper, but Tim Cope’s adventure . . . puts them all to shame.”
— The Daily Beast

“I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything quite like it before, with its interleaving of heart-on-the-sleeve personal narrative, shrewd modern observation and historical background.”
—Tim Severin, author of The Brendan Voyage

“An absorbing, exciting and informative book…Cope wears his knowledge lightly, and he writes vividly and at times almost poetically about the land and the people.”
—The Guardian

“This wonderful tale is full of mind-expanding horizons and insights into the complex freedoms and precarious future of the nomadic lifestyle.”
— Sydney Morning Herald

‘Tim Cope has woven sensitive observation with scholarship to create a unique sharing of his experience. The result is one of the most meaningful, rewarding accounts of an odyssey I have yet read.”
— Thomas Hornbein, author of Everest: The West Ridge


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