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Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East | [Scott Anderson]

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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  •  
    Bernie Cullen Yardley, PA USA 02-28-15
    Bernie Cullen Yardley, PA USA 02-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Enlightening bit of history"
    Any additional comments?

    This well constructed, fast paced analysis of the events surrounding the exploits of Lawrence of Arabia enabled me to significantly enhance my understanding of WWI and the complicated Arabian theater that has significant ramifications today. It goes well beyond the motion picture, and depicts related events, activities and personalities important to the full story behind it. One could only wish all histoirical accounts were so enjoyable to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MH Southern Calif 02-27-15
    MH Southern Calif 02-27-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent read"

    Really provides an excellent overview of the history, characters and events of the Middle East arena of WW1. Very in depth without getting TOO far into the tall grass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drlamarca 02-25-15
    drlamarca 02-25-15 Member Since 2014

    Physician in Healthcare IT. Commuter. Listen to a lot of books. Recently introduced to Audible. I am hooked.

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    Story
    "Amazing"

    Chronicles the events during and after World War including many unknown facts and figures. It is an eye-opening read that proves to fill in the gap of the events that took place in the century ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joseph Iowa City, IA, United States 02-22-15
    joseph Iowa City, IA, United States 02-22-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Good not great."

    Overextends itself a bit on the back end. Tries to be a biographical narrative and an all-encompassing history. Needs to just be one or the other

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Evans 02-12-15
    Bill Evans 02-12-15

    badger

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    "Definitely worth the listen...."

    This narrative gives an extra dimension to today's middle east with its multitude of problems and reinforces the complex nature of this part of the world. Very well written and narrated, it not only colours in an historical figure (did you know that Lawrence was called Ned by his family?) but gives us insight into his somewhat enigmatic character, and a better understanding of the origins of the current turmoil in the middle east.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Rutan 02-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Super listen"
    Where does Lawrence in Arabia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A great historical composition- the way the author pulled the story together by following the lives of a German, an American, T.E. Lawrence and a Jew in the period before and during World War 1 was perfect. It really helped to round out the history of that era and the story of the origin of the current Middle East.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story of T.E. Lawrence and what he accomplished.


    Which character – as performed by Malcolm Hillgartner – was your favorite?

    Lawrence.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Mount Vernon, WA USA 02-03-15
    Ken Mount Vernon, WA USA 02-03-15 Member Since 2014

    Skeptic

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    "Forget the movie; this is the real deal!"
    Would you listen to Lawrence in Arabia again? Why?

    Yes! This is an epic tale that was hard for me to turn off. For me, it raised as many questions as it answered. And, when not listening, I found myself constantly searching the internet for more information about events a people detailed in the narrative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author did an exceptional job of putting it all together in a way that informed as much as it entertained.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Lawrence's first encounter with William Yale.


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

    Truth is stranger (and more entertaining) than fiction!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zephyr 01-07-15
    Zephyr 01-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "An excellent place to start"

    While a informative biography in its own right this title also serves well as an introduction to modern Middle East politics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devilodg1969 01-07-15
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    "Excellent narration and perfect inflection..."

    I'd listen to another book read by Anderson... I'm reading and listening depending what is on my agenda... Good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-22-14
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-22-14 Member Since 2015
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    "I learned so much from this book!"

    A fascinating story of one of the most enigmatic personalities of the modern era. There's a wealth of detail about the man, but the bonus is a through recount of the history and geopolitics of time. Excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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