Lawrence and the Arabs

Lawrence and the Arabs

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by Robert Graves
     
 

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Immortalized in the film "Lawrence of Arabia," the real T.E. Lawrence was a leader, a war strategist, and a scholar, and is here immortalized in an intimate biography written by his close friend, the award-winning British novelist, poet and classicist Robert Graves.

As a student at Oxford, T.E. Lawrence was fascinated with Middle Eastern history and culture,…  See more details below

Overview

Immortalized in the film "Lawrence of Arabia," the real T.E. Lawrence was a leader, a war strategist, and a scholar, and is here immortalized in an intimate biography written by his close friend, the award-winning British novelist, poet and classicist Robert Graves.

As a student at Oxford, T.E. Lawrence was fascinated with Middle Eastern history and culture, and underwent a four-month visit to Syria to study the fortifications built by the Crusaders. Later, he returned to the region, this time as an archaeologist working with the British Army's Intelligence unit in Egypt during World War I. From there, in 1916, he joined Arab rebels fighting against Turkish domination. His brilliance as a desert war tactician earned him the respect of the Turkish fighters and worldwide renown.

This is the real story of T.E. Lawrence's life, told by one of the most influential British writers of the 20th century, and a personal friend.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940149425464
Publisher:
RosettaBooks
Publication date:
03/06/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
25,641
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Graves (1895-1985) was an English novelist, poet, and translator of Classical Greek and Roman literature, and one of the most prominent English writers of the 20th century. He was an extremely prolific writer, who published more than 140 novels and collections of poetry. In addition to novels and poetry, he published groundbreaking analysis of Greek mythology, as well as memoir. Graves is best known for his historical novels, which include I, Claudius, Claudius, the God, The Golden Fleece, King Jesus, and Count Belisarius.

Robert Graves served in combat in World War I and was gravely wounded at the Battle of the Somme. Following his recovery, he wrote several works of war poetry as well as a memoir of his time in combat, entitled Goodbye to All That. In 1934, Robert Graves was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his historical novels dealing with the Roman Emperor Claudius.

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Lawrence and the Arabs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Los_Coches_Press More than 1 year ago
There are so many biographical treatments of the life of T.E. Lawrence that those whose encounters with him have been limited to having heard of David Lean's epic film Lawrence of Arabia, are left with at least two questions. First, why are there so bloody many examinations of the man's life? Second, if inclined to dig into the enigma that was Lawrence, why choose this particular book? These are question best answered in reverse order. Selecting Lawrence and the Arabs as one's first (and potentially sole) portal into understanding Lawrence has much to commend it. First, the author Robert Graves actually knew the subject well as the book was written in Lawrence's life time. Second, Lawrence himself authorized but apparently did not interfere with this effort, at least in part because he was tired of all the rubbish published about him since the end of WWI. Third, Graves is a very engaging writer perhaps best known for his historical novel, I Claudius. In Lawrence, the reader is graced with an extremely good writer, who knows his subject well and is sensitive to the way legends tend to grow over time if not reined in by historical fact checking. This book, although not without flaws, accomplishes all of that and more which brings us to the original first question. The answer to why there are so many works on Lawrence is that apart from being a fascinatingly complex fellow, one cannot understand the current Middle East without spending some time understanding the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Many Arabs see the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (endorsing a Jewish state in Palestine) and the originally secret Sykes Picot Agreement of 1916 (carving up the area between the French and English), as a betrayal of British promises made to the Arabs for an independent state. This is admittedly dense, politically controversial stuff. The options, then, are to admit defeat in understanding the difference between Iraq and Iran and the distrust and enmity projected toward westerners in many Arabian countries, or dig in at least a little bit. If choosing the later course, a way to do so is with Lawrence as your guide. Many referred to him at the time as a "white Arab" because although an Englishman he also was deeply immersed in Arab culture. His perspective was, if not unique, certainly unusual and quite insightful. Ultimately, Lawrence and the Arabs is that all too rare book these days. One that is highly entertaining, very well written and expands the readers understanding of a complex topic that is an unavoidable part of everyday life. If there is a qualification on the recommendation it is simply that Mr. Porter who reads the unabridged text is excellent but undeniable English as was the author. Neither the dialect nor idiom are particularly dense but if you found the Audio-books of Barbara Tuchman's or Peter Mansfield's works tough going for this reason, you will have a similar experience with Lawrence and the Arabs.
Anonymous 4 months ago
The author is as competent in his field as the subject is in his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago