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Lawrence Of Arabia And American Culture

Overview

Departing from prior scholarship on T. E. Lawrence, this work examines the extent of Anglo-American cultural interplay and the popular culture machinery involved in the manufacture of the Lawrence of Arabia legend. Although not recognized as such, the Lawrence legend was as much an American product as a British one. American journalist Lowell Thomas first publicized the story through war travelogues given in New York City, which soon found their way to England. The legend was perpetuated by American literary ...

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Overview

Departing from prior scholarship on T. E. Lawrence, this work examines the extent of Anglo-American cultural interplay and the popular culture machinery involved in the manufacture of the Lawrence of Arabia legend. Although not recognized as such, the Lawrence legend was as much an American product as a British one. American journalist Lowell Thomas first publicized the story through war travelogues given in New York City, which soon found their way to England. The legend was perpetuated by American literary interest in Lawrence and then by a Hollywood film. By the 1960s, the Lawrence of Arabia story had become a small commercial industry.

The volume challenges conclusions about the relationship between Lawrence and Lowell Thomas, demonstrating it was much closer than Lawrence biographers have previously thought or were willing to admit. It also illustrates that American involvement in the construction and propagation of the Lawrence legend is greater than believed. The book features several unpublished or rare photographs as well as draws upon previously unpublished manuscript material, business letters, and supporting documents to recreate the origins of the popular legend of Lawrence of Arabia.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Hodson (American studies, Doshisha U., Kyoto, Japan) analyzes the Anglo-American cultural interplay and the popular cultural machinery involved in the manufacture of the Lawrence of Arabia legend. He demonstrates that the relationship between Lawrence and Lowell Thomas, the American journalist who first publicized Lawrence's story through war travelogues, was closer than Lawrence biographers previously thought. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOEL C. HODSON is Visiting Professor of American Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Lowell Thomas and the Origins of the Popular Legend of Lawrence of Arabia 11
Ch. 2 Backstage at the Theatre 27
Ch. 3 Propaganda and Propagation 45
Ch. 4 Diffusion of the Legend, 1920-1940: The Cases of Colonels Lawrence and Lindbergh 59
Ch. 5 Redefinition and Literary Reception, 1920-1940 79
Ch. 6 Interlude, 1940-1960: Lawrence and Hemingway 95
Ch. 7 Commercialization of the Legend, 1960-Present: Lawrence and Hollywood 107
Ch. 8 Assaying the Legends 131
Appendix: Notes on Sources about Lowell Thomas 143
Notes 149
Selected Bibliography 169
Index 185
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