A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence / Edition 1

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Overview

When this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography first appeared in 1976, it rescued T. E. Lawrence from the mythologizing that had seemed to be his fate. In it, John Mack humanely and objectively explores the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and his historically significant actions.

Extensive interviews, far-flung correspondence, access to War Office dispatches and unpublished letters provide the basis for Mack's sensitive investigation of the psychiatric dimensions of Lawrence's personality. In addition, Mack examines the pertinent history, politics, and sociology of the time in order to weigh the real forces with which Lawrence contended and which impinged upon him.

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Editorial Reviews

The Guardian

A hugely admired, and Pulitzer prize-winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can 'explain' his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence's actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence's psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject.
— Desmond Christy

New York Times Book Review
We are not likely to get as thorough and judicious a biography of T. E. Lawrence for some time.
Boston Sunday Globe
A great book which honors its subject, its form, and its author.
Newsweek
Mack's handling of this information is a model of sensitive psychoanalytical expertise.
Time
Takes us closer to the core of Lawrence than any previous biography.
Contemporary Review
Unlike many 'psycho-biographies', this was written by a trained psychologist who had also done his biographer's homework: it remains the best biography of T.E. Lawrence.
The Guardian - Desmond Christy
A hugely admired, and Pulitzer prize-winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can 'explain' his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence's actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence's psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject.
The Guardian
A hugely admired, and Pulitzer prize-winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can 'explain' his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence's actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence's psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject.
— Desmond Christy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674704947
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 407,184
  • Product dimensions: 5.01 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

John Mack, M.D., was Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Founding Director of the Center for Psychology and Social Change, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

  • Preface, 1998
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Family Background and Childhood
    • 1. Chapmans and Lawrences
    • 2. Childhood and Adolescence
    • 3. Lawrence and His Family: The Burden of Illegitimacy


  • Part 2: Youth
    • Introduction
    • 4. Literary Influences
    • 5. Crusader Castles
    • 6. Lawrence at Jesus College, 1907–1910
    • 7. The First Trip to the Middle East, 1909
    • 8. Lawrence at Carchemish
    • 9. The Epic Dream and the Fact of War


  • Part 3: The War Years, 1914–1918
    • Introduction
    • 10. The Background of the Arab Revolt
    • 11. Two Years in Cairo, 1914–1916
    • 12. The Course of the Arab Revolt
    • 13. The Capture of Damascus
    • 14. The Achievements of “Aurens”
    • 15. The Question of Motivation
    • 16. Lawrence the Enabler
    • 17. The Conflict of Responsibility
    • 18. The Heroic Legend and the Hero
    • 19. The Shattering of the Dream


  • Part 4: The Political Years, 1918–1922
    • Introduction
    • 20. Arab Self-determination and Arab Unity
    • 21. Leaving Damascus Behind
    • 22. At the Paris Peace Conference
    • 23. Return to England: London and All Souls
    • 24. Lawrence and Churchill: The Political Settlements in the Middle East


  • Part 5: The Years in the Ranks, 1922–1935
    • 25. The Service Years: An Overview
    • 26. Ross: The First RAF Enlistment
    • 27. The Years in the Tanks
    • 28. Cranwell
    • 29. India
    • 30. Mount Batten
    • 31. “Boats, Boats, Boats”
    • 32. Retirement and Death


  • Part 6: Further Dimensions
    • 33. Intimacy, Sexuality and Penance
    • 34. Lawrence Assayed


  • Appendix: Twenty-Seven Articles
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Copyright Acknowledgments
  • Index

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