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.
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!
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.
If you had to be there to understand, Anderson's book transports you there as if the sands were dusting your sanded feet. Context of of the time, the modernization of war and nascent importance of oil were laid out in relevant digestible morsels. Influential characters were developed until you felt you knew them physically and psychologically. You felt for them; got to know what motivated them; lived their adventures as they made history and history made them. Engaging narrative. Superbly read. Interested in WWI or not, this tale, these characters, this history narrative will expand your curiosity about people, places and how world events develop. You'll enjoy every twist in the saddle!
The history alone made this a most fascinating listen. If I didn't have to work I would have listened through to the end at one sitting.
Thanks to the narrator for doing a fine job.
Really made me think about the role of Western civilization in shaping modern Syria, Iraq and the rest of the middle East. I had no idea all of the things in modern events that stemmed from the events of WW1 in that region. Very timely read with the Syrian crisis
By focusing on four pivotal and colorful characters from World War 1, this book entertains while giving a clear picture of how many of the most important dynamics of the war led to the shape and tensions of the modern middle east. A fantastic read.
Not sure, but probably.
At the end, when he realized the British and French would not honor their word to support the Arabian autonomy.
This book is a must "read" for any one interested in understanding the origins of the chaos in today's Middle East. It is well researched, very engagingly, superbly narrated. Great work!
Glad I took the time to listen. The title doesn't give justice to the breadth of the work and describing how the turmoil in the Middle East was stoked a hundred years ago.
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.
I can't think of any right now. There are many, many history books that I have read.
It kept me focused.
They made a damn good movie on this subject.
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.
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