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Lawrence in Arabia Audiobook

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.
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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th-century history: the Arab Revolt and the secret game to control the Middle East.

The Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, "a sideshow of a sideshow". As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. Curt Prüfer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo whose clandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring. William Yale was a fallen scion of the American aristocracy who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order to gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rear guard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions.

Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

©2013 Scott Anderson (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Lewis Weston, CT, United States 09-13-13
    Lewis Weston, CT, United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Historical Gem"

    If you are seeking a greater understanding of how and why the Middle East has become the "headlines" of today, you must listen to this book!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay A. Cohen Santa Clara, CA USA 09-09-13
    Jay A. Cohen Santa Clara, CA USA 09-09-13 Member Since 2004

    Padre Cohen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really Wanted to Like This"

    Heard about "Lawrence in Arabia" in an interview of Scott Anderson. Sounded interesting and what with my being a T.E. Lawrence fan…

    T.E. Lawrence is fascinating, and the information Mr. Anderson presents is engrossing. The historical context is presented particularly well. But the story is destroyed by its uninspired and annoyingly amateurish writing. So much so it gets in the way of the story.

    The narrator does a journeyman's job, but it gets outright silly when doing voice characterizations.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Adams 05-27-16
    Terry Adams 05-27-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Very happy I bought this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lawrence in Arabia to be better than the print version?

    I never compare because I like both. I listen to books when I ride a stationary bike at the gym so there is something to take my mind off the monotony of what I am doing. I also like putting some good jazz on at a low volume and feeling the book in my hands, This is particularly helpful when I am reading something that might require a re-read or two.


    What other book might you compare Lawrence in Arabia to and why?

    I can't think of any right now. There are many, many history books that I have read.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    It kept me focused.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They made a damn good movie on this subject.


    Any additional comments?

    The book made me want to dig deeper into the subject. I can't count the number of times the line "we won the war but lost the peace" has applied throughout history. This most certainly and tragically is a case in point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas B. Martin 05-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Background"

    Fascinating background on how the Middle East machinations of almost a century ago complicated that world today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NYCShopper New York, NY USA 05-14-16
    NYCShopper New York, NY USA 05-14-16 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "Important work that reads like an adventure story"
    Would you listen to Lawrence in Arabia again? Why?

    Yes, I might. This is an intelligent, absorbing, sometimes thrilling, book that would be just as interesting a second or third time around. Also, I'd go through again to reinforce the details of the history it covers. This is a terrific book, but the title is slightly misleading -- Lawrence is one of five pivotal characters from different countries, all criss-crossing the MIddle East before and during WWI. Lawrence is the "marquis name" in this group of mid-level operators, whose stories reach up and down chains of command in the spheres politics and diplomacy, mutinational business, miltiary, revolution and tribal life, from the Arabian deserts to the corridors of power in Europe and the United States. t's a very successful way of giving tangible narrative shape to a complicated global story. Anderson reveal the roots of WWI--the preposterous decisions that led to nearly 20 million dead and a roughly equal number of wounded. The book sheds light on how the war was fough (for instance, Lawrence's accurate predictions that Galipoli would be a bloodbath with little to show for it), and tells about the major decisions and back-room power grabs that led to establishment of the modern Middle Eastern nations.


    What does Malcolm Hillgartner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I listened to this about a year and a half ago, so my memory isn't fresh about specifics of the performance. Here's what I recall: the reading is clear and easy to listen to for long stretches of time, and doesn't distract from the story (isn't it sad that you remember the bad readers more vividly than the good?). It was really absorbing, and I remember a lot from the book. What more can you ask from a reader?


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Five men set out to make their mark, and found themselves at the epicenter of the greatest cataclysm the world had ever seen.


    Any additional comments?

    This s a a uniquely rich and fascinating recounting of a part of history that isn't much emphasized in American education or news reporting, but that has deep tentacles in today's world events. If what's going on in the Middle East today makes no sense to you, get this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James C. Poland 03-09-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Very detailed perspective"

    The narrative does a great job of detailing the people who shaped the WWI theater in the middle east. It sometimes gets a little redundant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Orlando, FL, United States 02-24-16
    David Orlando, FL, United States 02-24-16 Member Since 2002
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    "Fantastically well written and authoritative."

    Told with both the the retrospectoscope of large historical forces, and the minutiae of human personality and foibles which often determine specific events. Extremely well written. Objective

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Le Min Newark, DE 02-22-16
    Thomas Le Min Newark, DE 02-22-16

    Thomas Le Min

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A magnificent history of one of the Twentieth Century's most enigmatic figures."

    In this recent biography of T E Lawrence, Scott Anderson has placed Lawrence's life within the broader context of the events surrounding the First World War, along with the Arab Revolt, which played such a crucial role in the Middle East theater of that war. Along with Lawrence, Anderson details the actions of three other men; a Turkish governor of Syria; a Palestinian Jewish agronomist cum spy; an American oil man cum political & military representative; and a German intelligence officer. These three man serve as foils for Lawrence's actions, as well as a convenient vehicle for telling the broader story of WWI.

    This is a wonderfully told history of Lawrence's complex life that presents about as independent and fair an assessment of his actions as is possible to achieve.

    To top everything off on this powerful tale, the narrator does a terrific job of presenting the text. I highly recommend this audiobook to all those who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the life of T E Lawrence, as well as those who are interested in WWI or the underpinnings of the current political situation in the Middle East.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MOURIS S. 02-20-16
    MOURIS S. 02-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    Well written and very balanced. Transforms you back in time. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of the ME.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Harris 02-14-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent"

    Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in 20th century history, or Middle Eastern politics. Well written, eloquent, just the right amount of detail, and very human in portraying four protagonists through WWI.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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