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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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (631 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "When will the mini series be produced by HBO?"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 03-21-15
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 03-21-15 Member Since 2013

    wanderer

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    "An enthralling reprise of early 1900s Middle East"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 03-13-15
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 03-13-15 Member Since 2013

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "Dissembling the Myth of Lawrence of Arabia"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hassan nemeh 03-01-15
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    "Superb book"

    This an excellent, scholarly review of the events that shaped the current Middle East and it's troubles. Very detailed book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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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    "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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    "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

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