T.E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero
by Harold Orlans
Lawrence of Arabia, as an adviser to Prince Feisal, led camel-riding Bedouins in a guerrilla war against Turkey from Arabia to Damascus. The great British hero of World War I, he helped Winston Churchill draw the map of the modern Middle East, creating Jordan and making Feisal king of Iraq. Then, in 1922, he shed the rank of colonel and his name to serve as a private in the Royal Air Force until shortly before his death in 1935 at age 46. Lawrence has been characterized as a man with extraordinary powers and as an imposter who manufactured his own legend. This careful study, based on virtually all published and unpublished English-language sources, sides neither with Lawrence's eulogists nor with his denigrators. Presenting a fair, balanced picture of his life, it shows the lifelong continuity of his puzzling conduct: the often needless deviousness that troubled even close friends; the self-hatred and savage masochism that cursed his adult years.
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