It was 1918 in Jerusalem, when the admiring young American scholar and journalist Lowell Thomas first met T.E. Lawrence. He went on to write "With Lawrence in Arabia, " a book that sparked the Lawrence of Arabia legend and was the basis of the celebrated film. With brilliant narrative verve, Lowell recounts the exploits of the young British agent ...
It was 1918 in Jerusalem, when the admiring young American scholar and journalist Lowell Thomas first met T.E. Lawrence. He went on to write "With Lawrence in Arabia, " a book that sparked the Lawrence of Arabia legend and was the basis of the celebrated film. With brilliant narrative verve, Lowell recounts the exploits of the young British agent who managed to weld disparate and warring Arab tribes into a formidable mobile fighting force--a guerilla army that would defeat the Turks in the Arab Revolt, sealing the fate of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East during World War I. On a canvas whose background is the fierce, inhospitable desert and in whose foreground stride the Emir Feisal, King Hussein I of the Hedjaz, the British General Allenby, and the strange, hypnotic figure of Lawrence himself, Thomas paints a vivid portrait of the "modern knight of Arabia."
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Lowell Thomas's book "With Lawrence in Arabia" qualifies as a true literary classic. Reading it, one is transported back to a time when the european west and arab east met in a stalemate much like today. But the bridge was the towering personality and charecter of one man whose compassion and tactical understanding served all sides toward a possible solution, T E Lawrence. Lowell Thomas's masterful interviews and verbal descriptions lead the reader to understanding after understanding of the evolution of thought of most of the main charecters of the time who are all fathers of the prime positions still in play. Thomas's concise and colorful language and his grasp of the long term importance of Lawrence's conflicted but soul-felt journey provide a work of importance to be read as long as there is conceived to be an east and a west.
Sep 6, 2007
Silencing the Sultan
Lowell Thomas iss an extraordinary biographer of T.E. Lawrence. Presented is a wonderful challenge of the desert, the life of the bedoin, and the Ottoman Empire during the campaign in Arabia. He gives justification to the uprising, introduces many individuals who made the revolt and Lawrence a household word. You cannot put this book down.
May 31, 2007
A perfect prelude to Revolt in the Desert
In ?With Lawrence in Arabia,? author Lowell Thomas recounts his experiences as perhaps one of the world?s earlier ?imbedded? journalists. Along with his photographer Henry .A. Chase, Thomas captures the exploits of T.E. Lawrence in typical 1920?s journalistic fashion. There is little doubt that Lawrence?s eloquence and mastery of the English language in no small part rubbed off on the previously lurid muckraker journalist.<p> Compared with Lawrence?s own book ?Revolt in the Desert,? Thomas clarifies much that Lawrence assumes the reader to know. I would suggest ?With Lawrence...? be read as a prologue to ?Revolt in the Desert,? or, if you are a more ambitious reader ?Seven Pillars of Wisdom.? Thomas?s book will certainly be helpful in the tribal, historical and geographical information otherwise lacking in Lawrence?s work. In the book?s closing chapters Thomas?s thoughts are as ominous as they are prophetic to read them today. To know that they were written in the 1923 belies our ignorance of the past and our reluctance to learn from it:
? We of the West are prone to underestimate the importance of Mohammedanism: one day there may be a rude awakening, for it is the creed of on fifth of the world and is an active and proselytizing creed making converts in London as well as equatorial Africa. Like the waves of unrest and religious fervor and splendid hope that passed through Christendom at the time of the crusades, so now, from Sudan to Sumatra, there are ominous signs of another and darker movement?
If Thomas?s own words reveal such a concern, perhaps there is no less apprehension suggested in the quotes of Lawrence himself:
?It would show a lack of humour if we reproved them (the Arabs) for a battle near Damascus? while we were battles near Bagdad, and trying to render the Mesopotamians incapable of self-government, by smashing every head that raised itself among them.?
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