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Short Synopsis
From former diplomat Gerard Russell comes a fascinating portrait of seven endangered religions in the Middle East that have roots in the distant past.

Full Synopsis
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, and Egypt in the time of the pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before.

In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former diplomat Gerard Russell ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions where these mysterious religions still cling to survival. He lives alongside the Mandaeans and Ezidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Copts of Egypt, and others. He learns their histories, participates in their rituals, and comes to understand the threats to their communities. Historically a tolerant faith, since the early twentieth century, Islam has witnessed the rise of militant, extremist sects. This development poses existential threats to these minority faiths. And as more and more of their youth flee to the West in search of greater freedoms and job prospects, these religions face the dire possibility of extinction.

"Narration by Michael Page gives the book a smooth, conversational flow, allowing listeners to relax into Russell's expressive writing style." ---Library Journal Starred Audio Review

"A fascinating and gracefully written study of minority religions, recommended for its appreciation of cultural richness and variety." ---Library Journal

"A pertinent work of history and journalism." ---Kirkus

"This important and enjoyable glimpse into little-considered religious dynamics of the Middle East deserves to be widely read and distributed." ---Publishers Weekly

"[Page] pronounces each word carefully and does a great job with the names and places." ---AudioFile
Library Journal Audio Review


Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms

Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East

Author Gerard Russell

Narrated by Michael Page

Publication date Jan 13, 2015

Running time 11 hrs 14 min

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