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.
Great book. Outstanding narrator. The book is NOT a romanticized account of T. E. Lawrence in the dessert. It is rather a well-researched history of the Middle East before-during-and shortly after WWI.
In my opinion it details very clearly the imperialistic intentions of Britain and France and, to somewhat a different degree, that of Standard Oil. What we are experiencing today in that area of the world was to a big extend created by the power-grabbing and treachery of some Western nations.
A great listening to better understand what's going on there at the present time.
An excellent way to relate history in an interesting manner
The narrator's style of using different accents for each character is offputting at first but becomes useful as a way to seperate quotes from author opinions without breaking the rhythm
An enthralling reprise of early 1900s Middle East history. Paints a fuller picture of Lawrence than usually found in our culture. The narrative pulls the listener along.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Any attempt to understand the modern world must explain the shape of the Middle East. This is a serious attempt to dismantle the Middle East turmoil from the perspective of World War One and the enigmatic figure of T. E. Lawrence. After listening, I can say that I think I grasp the shape of the political forces of the Middle East a lot better but that I fail to know the strangely paradoxical figure of Lawrence. Far from the romantic Peter O’Toole version of Lawrence of Arabia, Scott Anderson paints a portrait of the man that is more realistic and contradictory.
Malcolm Hillgartner submits a journeyman’s effort here. Nothing spectacular, but clear and unobtrusive.
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.
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.
Physician in Healthcare IT. Commuter. Listen to a lot of books. Recently introduced to Audible. I am hooked.
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.
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
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.
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