'This magnificent, monumental portrait at a stroke makes all others redundant, and re-establishes Lawrence as one of the most extraordinary figures of the 20th century' Sunday Times Michael Korda's Hero is an epic biography of the mysterious Englishman whose daring exploits made him an object of intense fascination, known the world over as ...
'This magnificent, monumental portrait at a stroke makes all others redundant, and re-establishes Lawrence as one of the most extraordinary figures of the 20th century' Sunday Times Michael Korda's Hero is an epic biography of the mysterious Englishman whose daring exploits made him an object of intense fascination, known the world over as Lawrence of Arabia. An Oxford Scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters' governess, T.E. Lawrence was sent to Cairo as an intelligence officer in 1916, vanished into the desert in 1917, and re-emerged as one of the most remarkable and controversial figures of the First World War. He united and led the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks and eventually capture Damascus, an adventure he recorded in the classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A born leader, utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain and danger, he remained modest, and retiring. Farsighted diplomat, brilliant military strategist, the first media celebrity, and acclaimed writer, Lawrence was a visionary whose achievements transcended his time: had his vision for the modern Middle East been carried through, the hatred and bloodshed that have since plagued the region might have prevented. The democratic reforms he would have implemented as British High Commissioner of Egypt, are those the Egyptians are now demanding, 91 years later. Ultimately, as this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains the paradigm of the hero in modern times.
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Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-23 This magisterial biography of British soldier and adventurer T.E. Lawrence celebrates a life spent subverting authority in the most glamorous-and bizarre-ways. S&S editor-in-chief emeritus Korda (Ike) gives a rousing, lucid account of Lawrence's leadership of the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during WWI and his diplomatic championing of Arab nationalism. But it's Lawrence's artistic bent-his Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a classic of war literature-and his magnetic but tortured soul that take center stage. Korda's Lawrence blends fierce ambition, monkish austerity, self-abasing masochism (sparked, perhaps, by whippings at the hands of his mother and Turkish soldiers), a disdain for higher-ranking brass, and a penchant for dominating it. After the war he tried to restrain these tendencies by enlisting as a lowly private in the Royal Air Force when he was a celebrity and confidant of government ministers. Korda perhaps exaggerates the novelty and significance of Lawrence's military exploits and makes an unconvincing stab at framing him in Joseph Campbell-inspired heroic archetypes. Still, Korda's vivid portrait of Lawrence and his warring impulses captures the brilliance and charisma of this fascinating figure. 16 pages of b&w photos, 26 b&w photos throughout. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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