The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

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Overview

This biography penetrates and overturns the mythology which surrounds T.E. Lawrence but is dispassionate and generous in spirit throughout. It has reopened debate and interest in one of the most remarkable men of the century. James reconstructs Lawrence's wartime career and analyzes how it was translated into a legend in the 1920s and 1930s. He traces how Lawrence used and contributed to this legend and how the myth of the so-called betrayal of the Arabs by the British has coloured the subsequent history of the ...
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Overview

This biography penetrates and overturns the mythology which surrounds T.E. Lawrence but is dispassionate and generous in spirit throughout. It has reopened debate and interest in one of the most remarkable men of the century. James reconstructs Lawrence's wartime career and analyzes how it was translated into a legend in the 1920s and 1930s. He traces how Lawrence used and contributed to this legend and how the myth of the so-called betrayal of the Arabs by the British has coloured the subsequent history of the Middle East.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The image of the British hero soldier T. (Thomas) E. (Edward) Lawrence (1888-1935) is tarnished by James ( The Savage Wars: The British Conquest of Africa, 1870-1920 ). The biographer, who obtained access to formerly unavailable documents, controversially posits in his carefully researched study that Lawrence's WW I military activites to spur an Arab revolt against the Turks, in order to assist the allied forces, was a public relations coup rather than a military victory. Although Lawrence was brave under fire, he identified with the Arab cause to such an extent, James relates, that he compromised the truth in his articles and books written after the war ( Seven Pillars of Wisdom ) and, with the assistance of American journalist Lowell Thomas, created his own largely fictional image as a romantic war hero. James concurs with other researchers who have revealed Lawrence's story of his capture and rape by the Turks at Dera as a lie. Illustrated. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The only thing more surprising than the number and flow of T.E. Lawrence biographies is the Rashomonesque quality to the works. From early hero worship to the most foul denigration to a more moderate, modern view of this gifted, tortured man, Lawrenciana has run the gamut. James, author of numerous histories, has placed his own peculiar interpretation on Lawrence's life: that of active homosexual. James has used his own modest skills to try to convince the reader that the repressed, almost asexual Lawrence was just the opposite. James's results are at best mixed, and he adds very little to what is already known about, in any area. Readers and libraries would be better off consulting editions of Lawrence's letters and works such as John F. Mack's A Prince of Our Disorder ( LJ 4/1/76) and Jeremy Wilson's more recent Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography ( LJ 6/15/90).-- Katherine Gillen, Mesa P.L., Ariz.
Jan Morris
“An excellent, strong, and balanced biography . . . This is surely the definite assembly of the facts.”
The New York Times Book Review
“James’s narrative is readable, his research wide-ranging, and his judgments informed and tough-minded.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569248614
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/16/1994
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author


Lawrence James is a former teacher and the author of several books, including the successful The Rise and Fall of Britain. He lives in Scotland.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Maps
Preface
Pt. 1 From Birth to Manhood: August 1888-August 1914
I Ancestry and Inheritance 3
II Boyhood and Schooling, 1888-1907 14
III Oxford and The Orient, 1907-1910 25
IV Wandering Scholar: The Middle East, 1910-1913 45
V For King and Country, 1914 65
Pt. 2 Intelligence Officer: December 1914-June 1916
I War and Duty 75
II Men and Ideas 86
III A Secret War 101
IV Adventures in Blunderland: Iraq, April 1916 115
Pt. 3 With the Arabs at Aqaba: June 1916-July 1917
I A Man of Destiny 135
II Lawrence and the Arabs 150
III Triumph at Aqaba 169
Pt. 4 The Road to Damascus: July 1917-October 1918
I The Railway War 191
II A Covert Operation 201
III Dera: Degradation or Deception? 209
IV Betrayal 221
V War's Mischances, November 1917-July 1918 234
VI Damascus: Flawed Triumph 247
Pt. 5 The Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
I Achievement 267
II The Making of the Legend, 1918-1935 272
III Living with a Legend 292
Pt. 6 Making the Best of It: November 1918-May 1935
I Diplomat, 1918-1919 301
II Kingmaker, 1919-1922 314
III Man of Letters 336
IV Gentleman Ranker, 1922-1935 347
V Death of a Hero 360
Pt. 7 The Bubble Reputation 363
Appendix 369
Select Bibliography 371
Notes 377
Index 395
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