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Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

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Malcolm Hillgartner

23 Hours 49 Minutes

Blackstone Audiobooks

August 2013

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Audio Book Summary

A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one ofthe most epic and consequential periods in twentieth century history-the ArabRevolt and the secret game to control the Middle East
The Arab revolt against the Turks in World WarI was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, "a sideshow of a sideshow." As aresult, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful ofadventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.Curt Prüfer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo whoseclandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was arenowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottomangovernor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring.William Yale was a fallen scion of the American aristocracy who traveled theOttoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order togain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding intolegend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rearguard action against hisown government and its imperial ambitions.
Basedon four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdomon how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in itsportraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by Europeancolonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which thefolly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

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Reviews

  • Marla Young

    Oh the tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! A fantastic book in helping to understand the history of the Middle East with the West. There is so much information in this book. The harm done throughout the world in the name of \"imperialism\" and wealth for a few is staggering! A book all should read and will be enlightened by.

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