T. E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero

Overview

Lawrence of Arabia, as adviser to Prince Feisal, led camel-riding Bedouin in a guerrilla war against Turkey from Arabia to Damascus. The great British hero of World War I, he helped Winston Churchill draw the map of the modern Middle East, creating Jordan and making Feisal king of Iraq. Then, in 1922, he shed the rank of colonel and his name to serve as a private in the Royal Air Force until shortly before his death in 1935 at age 46. Lawrence has been characterized as a man with extraordinary powers and as an ...

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Overview

Lawrence of Arabia, as adviser to Prince Feisal, led camel-riding Bedouin in a guerrilla war against Turkey from Arabia to Damascus. The great British hero of World War I, he helped Winston Churchill draw the map of the modern Middle East, creating Jordan and making Feisal king of Iraq. Then, in 1922, he shed the rank of colonel and his name to serve as a private in the Royal Air Force until shortly before his death in 1935 at age 46. Lawrence has been characterized as a man with extraordinary powers and as an imposter who manufactured his own legend.

This careful study, based on virtually all published and unpublished English-language sources, sides neither with Lawrence's eulogists nor with his denigrators. Presenting a fair, balanced picture of his life, it shows the lifelong continuity of his puzzling conduct: the often needless deviousness that troubled even close friends; the self-hatred and savage masochism that cursed his adult years.

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Editorial Reviews

Catholic Library World
this well-written book provides an excellent summary of Lawrence's life
Military Heritage
superior...meticulous research, clarity of writing...intellectually honest and balanced conclusions
Claire Keith
"Closes a process of demystification and addresses squarely the darker struggles of Lawrence's life."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786413072
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/24/2002
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Harold Orlans contributed to Minerva, The American Scholar, Change, Biography, and The Journal of the T.E. Lawrence Society, and was the editor of Lawrence of Arabia, Strange Man of Letters, of which a reviewer said that he has "shown us..., better than in all the biographies, the pulsing heart of Lawrence." He lived in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
Chronology of Lawrence's Life 5
Prologue: A Rocket Flared and Fell 7
I. Life
1. Childhood and Youth, 1888-1907 11
2. College and the East, 1908-1914 15
3. War, 1914-1918 25
4. Undiplomatic Battles, 1918-1922 41
5. In and Out of the RAF, 1922 54
6. The Tank Corps, 1923-1925 61
7. Back in the RAF, 1925-1926 69
8. India, 1927-1928 74
9. Seas and Shores, 1929-1935 86
10. The Last Twelve Weeks, 1935 100
II. Character and Conduct
11. Body and Appearance 111
12. Eating and Living Habits 118
13. Possessions and Finances 122
14. Parents 136
15. Brothers 146
16. Friends 160
17. Illegitimacy and Pseudonyms 177
18. Sociable and Solitary 186
19. Political Outlook 195
20. "My Name Is Legion" 202
21. Masochism and Sexuality 218
III. Conclusion
22. Summing Up 233
Notes 243
Bibliography 269
Index 275
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