My Interview for a Documentary About Batu Khan
Thanks to Director Rachid Nougmanov, a senior producer at TOO Cingram in Kazakhstan, and his superb crew. They arrived on October 9th and interviewed me for a documentary about Batu Khan.
Rachid also scheduled interviews with prominent scholars Marie Favereau and Timothy May and others whose names I do not know. It's a great subject and it has not been done. We in the West know nothing about the man who conquered Russia. I look forward to seeing the completed film.
Kazakhstan is a part of the world once ruled by Batu Khan, so it was an honor to be interviewed. The film is an explortion of Batu investigating the mystery of his father Jochi's death. As the story unfolds, the audience discovers Batu's life and deeds from the early days up to the role that Batu Khan played in placing a new branch of the imperial family on the Mongol throne. We discover his reasons for doing so. The Mongols are a lively group, earthy and human. We see the struggles for the throne. Skulduggery in high places is the theme.
Thnks also to the excellent crew, total professionals who arrived on time. This is a miracle in Southwest Florida.
A Talk for the American Center for Mongolian Studies
On November 13th at 8 A. M. EST, I gave a live talk about Batu Khan for the speaker series of the American Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaan Baatur.
I explored Batu Khan's character, the man who became a kingmaker, rather than Supreme Khan. What led Batu Khan to create a plan with the Princess Sorghagtani to change the branch of the imperial house of the Mongol Empire? This was a momentous strategy that ultimately saved Europe from a Mongol invasion.
An able and talented grandson of Chinggis Khan, Batu chose to remain as the Khan of the Golden Horde, at the crossroads of transcontinental trade, rather than move into the civilized world and govern from the Mongol capital of Khara Khorum in Inner Mongolia. Why did he do this?
Tune in and find out. This is for the launch of my new book. See details on the Order Batu Khan page on this website.. The bookwill be available from Amazon and other book retailers.
I have posted the maps and illustrations on the Order Batu Khan page of this author website, as well as a mini-podcast of me reading an introduction not covered in the book. I will post the link to the talk at a later date, for those who wish to tune into the talk. It will be repeated on video at 8 PM. Afterward, it will be available on the ACMS YouTube Channel.
Thanks very much to the ACMS for the invitation. I am hoping to tell a fabulous story, a little entertainment in the time of the hea;thcare emergency.
Announcing a Young Reader Edition of Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde
The story of Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde, will soon be available in paperback, from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebooks. This is the first book of my Silk Road Series: The Way Across the World Opens.
From his youth in the camp of his grandfather, Chinggis Khan, to his brilliant leadership in the conquest of Russia to his role as kingmaker of the Empire, this is the story of Batu Khan, the man who founded the Russian Khanate and used it as a base to invade Europe.
The former U. S. Ambassador to Mongolia Jonathan Addleton gave me the following quote for the Silk Road Series. "Diane Wolff writes well and convincingly, capturing the epic sweep of a fascinating if all too neglected history and presenting it in compelling fashion to a larger audience"
Available September 25th, 2020, this is a student edition. It is also suitable for teachers who are non-specialists, with illustrations available to those who email me: my Power Point presentations, including maps and illustrations of the principal players, and a list of teaching materials, including a YouTube film clip of the Eisenstein film of the hero of Russia, Alexander Nevsky.
At present, this is a workbook. I am making it available by popular request.
If you want to know why this is important for modern readers, a recent Wall Street Journal article claimed that Vladimir Putin, the ruler of Russia, is looking to Russia's Asian Past. To understand the present mindset of the current leader, one has to know the past. https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-turn-to-its-asian-past-1530889247
The former US Ambassador to Mongolia Jonathan Addleton attended the Mongol Cultural Conference at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, D. C. and was kind enough to tell me, "I like the way that you have divided the sweep of that history into several volumes rather than simply one or two."
AUTHOR TALK , AN OFFER HE COULDN'T REFUSE
I read from "An Offer He Couldn't Refuse", one of the books in my forthcoming Silk Road Series. at the Twelfth Annual Mongolian Studies Conference on February 10th, 2018 at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, D.C.
I introduced the audience to the man who saved Chinese civilization from the worst practices of the so-called barbarians who conquered North China.
This book is a meditation on how the man of letters changed the warfare of the greatest military genius in history. It is my portrait of Yeh-lu, Genghis Khan's Chinese chancellor, the greatest statesman of the Mongol Empire, When his fellow Confucian scholar-bureaucrats went to the South to serve under a Han emperor, Yeh-lu was the man who stayed behind and went into the service of Chinggis Khan, The Conqueror of North China. Yeh-lu became the man who saved Chinese civilization.
This is a big story, on an epic scale, of two men of different temperaments and backgrounds coming to understand one another in a unique situation. The man of letters allowed himself to be recruited into the government of the military man. It shows the moral force of civilization against the rule of The Conqueror and his military government, a government of conquest. This is a story for our time.
This work requires years of research of a difficult nature. I call it digging out truth with a teaspoon. Unfortunately, the government was shut down, so our group did not get to tour the Mongolia Archives at the Library of Congress. A great disappointment.
IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER, THE LATE GREAT CATHIE G.
In honor of my mother, the late Cathie Grossman, I have published a work entitled "Essential Puree: The A to Z Guidebook."
This volume outlines a system for setting up and running a puree kitchen, together with family recipes for classic American comfort food. This is for persons with swallowing disorders.
Here is the website:
A WEBINAR FOR THE NATIONAL FOUNDATION OF SWALLOWING DISORDERS
By invitation of the executive director of the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders Elizabeth Lipton, I did my first ever live webinar of the Holiday Meal from beautiful Sonoma County. Even though fire fighters were getting the Northern California fires under control, conditions permitted us to video live on tape. I do this work in memory of my mother, the late great Cathie G.
I taught healthcare providers and caregivers and patients with swallowing disorders how to puree the Holiday Meal so that those with dysphagia could join family and friends at this time of the year, rather than being isolated from the social events of life.
I am working with a California team to launch Prosper Foods, a line of organic pureed foods. We hope to launch in 2019. Look for further announcements on the forthcoming Prosper Foods website and social media.