Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms

In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East, Gerard Russell covers some interesting ground, exposing readers to Middle Eastern religions they in all likelihood never knew existed.  The Mandeans, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Druze, Samaritans, Copts and Kalasha, Russell provides a first-hand account of these groups with the keen insight of a former British diplomat stationed in the Middle East.

While Russell is very thorough as a travelogue, the book is very short on history.  For the reader who wants the historical background of these groups, this is not your book.  Russell treats history, but only in passing.  He is far more interested in the current state of these religions, both in the Middle East and abroad.

This gives Heirs the sense of something missing.  Russell could have written this book far more comprehensively

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