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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Scott Anderson
Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner
Genres: History, Biography & Memoir, Military
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: August 2013
# of Units: 19 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
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A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in twentieth century history—the Arab Revolt and the secret game to control the Middle East

The Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” 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. Curt Prüfer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo whose clandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring. William Yale was a fallen scion of the American aristocracy who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order to gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions.

Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

“Lawrence of Arabia is said to have reinvented warfare, and Scott Anderson has now reinvented Lawrence. By placing him alongside the other adventurers and spies who roamed the Arabian war theater, Anderson brilliantly illuminates how the modern Middle East came to be. 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. A deep and utterly captivating reading experience.”—Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author

Reviews (1)

4 Stars

Written by Marla Young on July 22nd, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

Author Details

Author Details

Anderson, Scott

SCOTT ANDERSON is a veteran war correspondent and contributing writer at "The New York Times Magazine. His work also appears in "Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, Outside, and many other publications. Over the years he has reported from Beirut, Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Israel, Sudan, Sarajevo, El Salvador, and many other war-torn areas. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel "Triage, as well as the nonfiction book "The Man Who Tried to Save the World: The Dangerous Life and Mysterious Disappearance of an American Hero, and, with his brother Jon Lee Anderson, "War Zones. Anderson lives in Upstate New York.