The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, 'a sideshow of a sideshow'. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. At the centre of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people. Operating in the Middle East at the same time, but to wildly different ends, were three other important players: a German attache, an American oilman and a committed Zionist. The intertwined paths of these four young men - the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed - mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 592
Weight: 606 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 42 mm
Fascinating... [Anderson] displays a masterly understanding of the politics of the region, and a fine judgement on Lawrence himself... The author's description of Lawrence's guerrilla campaign is also first-rate... A highly intelligent contribution to the Lawrence literature' -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times * Tremendous... [Anderson] has written a masterpiece of detachment about a subject that defies easy acceptance, and made of it a work of tantalising fascination. -- Jan Morris * Daily Telegraph * If you thought you knew all you needed to know about "Lawrence of Arabia", if only thanks to David Lean's epic film, think again. Scott Anderson's magisterial book retells the story in a way that challenges almost all aspects of the Lawrence myth. -- Amir Taheri * The Times * Lawrence in Arabia is a fascinating book, the best work of military history in recent memory and an illuminating analysis of issues that still loom large today * New York Times * The research in this book is so daringly original, and the writing so spectacular, that it feels like I'm reading about the topic for the first time. -- Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm Gripping... Anderson's version of the story is a brilliantly pulled-off piece of narrative history that demonstrates both why Lawrence continues to grip our imagination and why he can be a deeply problematic lens through which to examine the tensions of the Middle East -- William Dalrymple * New Statesman * Cuts through legend and speculation to offer perhaps the clearest account of Lawrence's often puzzling actions and personality... Anderson has produced a compelling account of Western hubris, derring-do, intrigue and outright fraud that hastened - and complicated - the troubled birth of the modern Middle East. * Washington Post * Stirring, scholarly and remarkably sensitive - both to Lawrence's personal complexities and the geopolitical context -- James McConnachie * Spectator * The most scholarly life of Lawrence to date... Gives the Arab revolt and its dashing architect their due in history -- Ian Thomson * Observer * Through his large cast, Anderson is able to explore the muddles of the early-20th-century Middle East from several different and enlightening perspectives. Furthermore, while he maintains an invigorating pace, his fabulous details are given room to illuminate... Engrossing, thoughtful and intricate -- Alex von Tunzelmann * New York Times Book Review * Thrilling... It's a huge assignment, explaining the modern roots of the region as it emerged from the wreckage of war. But it is one that Anderson handles with panache... Anderson brilliantly evokes the upheavals and head-spinningly complex politics of an era * Boston Globe * Thrillingly, Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia does [real justice to the bureaucratic fumblings, the myriad spies, heroes and villains, the dense fugue of humanity at its best and worst operating in the Mideast war theater of 1914-17...] weaving enormous detail into its 500-plus pages with a propulsive narrative thread. * USA Today * Here is an intimate history painted on a very large canvas, with one fantastically charismatic - and fabulously flawed - man at the dusty center of the tale. -- Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers A startlingly rich and revealing portrait of one of history's most iconic figures... Lovers of big 20th-century history will be in nirvana. -- Tom Reiss, bestselling author of The Orientalist and The Black Count Intelligent and original * Guardian * Scott Anderson has produced one of the most impressive Lawrence biographies ever written. However, his magnificent and panoramic book is much more than that. It shows how the world's great imperial powers carved up the Middle East during this crucial period, shattering Lawrence's dream and laying the foundations for terrible conflict that still continues today. * Sunday Business Post *