Sometimes historians' reflexes to "undo" a public narrative regarding a subject take them too far in the other direction. Mongols were neither demons who wrecked the world, nor wise, benevolent overlords who consciously ushered in a "golden age." They utilized terror where it +
suited them, resulting in depopulated cities, destroyed regions, some of which never fully recovered (think of areas like Khwarezm, parts of Russia and Iran). Their creative use of cruelty and terror is not just bad propaganda. At the same time, the commercial "golden age" that
followed their conquests was a result of the brief political unification of a large geography, coupled with their priorities of maximizing the money they collected, and collecting it with the minimum of effort, given their small number and large number of subject peoples/lands.
I see historians doing this sort of thing all the time; they see an exaggerated or problematic public discourse about a subject, and try to "correct" it by portraying their pet subject in the most positive light imaginable. Even when this happens, it is valuable because it brings
some "balance" to public discourse, after a while (if only 5 academics read your work, it won't have much effect), but this sort of "balance" is better achieved with direct public engagement, and acknowledging the elements of truth in the biased public discourse about the subject
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