THE ADMISSION of the Mongolian People's Republic to the United Nations in 1961 aroused sudden interest in a country which, though it had not itself sealed its frontiers or made itself a hermit land, had been neglected by the outside world for forty years. Mongolia's membership in the United Nations has led to the asking of many questions. What are the relations between Mongolia and the Soviet Union and China, the only countries with which it has common frontiers? Is Mongolia a kind of disguised member-republic of the Soviet Union? Or, on the other hand, are the Mongols a kind of Chinese? Is their language a dialect of Chinese? What is the difference between Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia? Did anything ever happen in Mongolia between the death of Chingis Khan, more than 700 years ago, and our own times?
In this book I have written a general description of what Mongolia and the Mongol people are like today, with frequent references to historical phases of change