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Heirs to a Forgotten Kingdom: Inside some of the world's most endangered religions

"Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms" by Gerard Russell
Gerard Russell

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If you’re keeping up with the headlines, you might notice the Middle East frequently portrayed as a land of religious intolerance. But when former diplomat Gerard Russell began to work closely with several communities across the region, he soon learned that there was much more to it than he could have ever imagined.

In his new book, "Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms," Russell shares his experiences living with seven ancient tribes, each with their own deeply-rooted religion and each on the brink of extinction. Gerard Russell joins Larry Mantle today to discuss his findings after living alongside the Madeans and Ezids of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, and the Copts of Egypt, to name just a few. He will also explain how increased religious extremism and Western military action is contributing to the rapid dissolution of these faiths.


Gerard Russell, author of "Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms" (Basic Books, 2014).  He worked for 14 years as a British and United Nations diplomat, and is a Senior Fellow with the New America Foundation’s International Security Program as well as a Senior Associate of the Foreign Policy Centre in London.