Lawrence in Arabia

lawrence in arabia cover image Lawrence in Arabia

by Scott Anderson
History
Doubleday
Hardcover, 592 pages
$28.95

Well, we’re now one hundred years down the road from those fateful days of August, 1914. The stories have been told and retold and will be again come summer. One of the best is that of Thomas Edward Lawrence – T.E. Lawrence. Most of us know him as Peter O’Toole who played the role in the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia. There he is portrayed as a swashbuckling romantic leading the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks.
 
Here we go not only deeper into the man, but deeper into the context as well. Lawrence’s story is woven together with that of three other characters on the scene – Curt Prufer, a German spy conspiring to drive the British out of Palestine; Aaron Aaronsohn, a Jewish agronomist immigrant in Palestine; and, William Yale, an American aristocrat working for Standard Oil and occasionally the Department of State. Together they mix the Middle Eastern pot seasoned with the meddling of a variety of foreign-based others and the more sympathetic locals such as the then Prince Faisal.