Book Description: The bestselling authors of The Secret of the Sphinx relate the extraordinary account of a longstanding conspiracy at the heart of Western civilization, the visual evidence of which surrounds us all.A talisman is an object with “meaning.” It is a potent symbol or icon that can fire the imagination and emotions of men and women anywhere, any time. It can be a small amulet, a ring, a flag, a statue, a monument, and even a whole city. Think of a wedding ring. Think of the Statue of Liberty or the collapsing Twin Towers of New York, or the toppling statue of Saddam Hussein. Think of the Wailing Wall. Think of Jerusalem. . .Talisman is a roller-coaster intellectual journey through the back streets and rat runs of history to uncover the traces in architecture and monuments of a secret religion that has shaped the world. The story takes us from Heliopolis to Luxor, Alexandria, Toulouse, Florence, Rome, Paris, London, Washington DC, New York, and finally to the global pandemonium following September 11, 2001. It is a tale filled with romance and intrigue, heroism and faith, peopled by ancient Egyptian astronomer-priests, Christian Gnostics, Hermetic sages, learned Jews, Arab savants, Occitan counts, Cathar “perfects,” Knights Templar, Renaissance magi, Rosicrucian “invisibles,” Bavarian Illuminati, and Freemasons.Pivotal historical events and processes, not least the Renaissance, the birth of scientific rationalism, and the French and American Revolutions, are radically re-evaluated in the light of new investigative evidence presented for the first time in Talisman. Even the belief that the United States has a “global mission,” so obvious today, may ultimately prove to be less the result of a short-term reaction to terrorism than the inevitable working out of a covert plan originally set in motion almost 2000 years ago. With its eye-catching amazing revelations, extensive documentation, and all-encompassing theories, Talisman will ensure that its readers will never look at the world in the same way.From the Hardcover edition.