We rarely introduce non academic books. The following volume, however, is too close to our interests to be ignored:
Russell, Gerard. 2015. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms. Simon & Schuster UK.
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, 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.
For more on the book, see its website. William Dalrymple has reviewed it for the Guardian.