Part I. Political History: 1. From Liao to Western Liao: Yelu Dashi and the establishment of the Qara Khitai Empire; 2. The quiet period: the reign of Yilie and the Empresses; 3. The fall: between the Khwarazm Shah and the Mongols. Epilogue: what became of the Qara Khitai?; Part II. Aspects of Cultural and Institutional History: 4. China; 5. Nomads; 6. Islam.
The book considers the political, institutional and cultural histories of the Qara Khitai.
Michal Biran is Lecturer at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her previous publications include Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia (1997) and Mongols, Turks and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World (2005; co-edited with Reuven Amitai).
From the hardback review: 'Though the Qara Khitai or Western Liao have attracted a certain amount of research over the years, it is a great pleasure to welcome the first monograph in English devoted entirely to their history and culture. ... impressive ... this volume is surely bound to remain a key work on the Western Liao for many years to come. ... a major step forward in a number of ways, and will undoubtedly be recognized as such in the years to come.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies From the hardback review: '... an important and lasting contribution to our knowledge of the Mongol empire, and deserves a place in every Mongolist's and medievalist's library. After reading this book, both specialists and non-specialists will come to a greater and sharper appreciation of the place of the history of currency on the broad canvas of the Mongol conquest. Both Brian's and Kolbas's books are a fine testimony to the vitality and maturity of Inner Asian studies.' The Journal of JRAS 'This book on the Qara-Khitai, or Western Liao, is a major work that fills a gap in our knowledge of this important Central Asian dynasty.' Central Eurasian Reader