The image of the British hero soldier T. (Thomas) E. (Edward) Lawrence (1888-1935) is tarnished by James ( The Savage Wars: The British Conquest of Africa, 1870-1920 ). The biographer, who obtained access to formerly unavailable documents, controversially posits in his carefully researched study that Lawrence’s WW I military activites to spur an Arab revolt against the Turks, in order to assist the allied forces, was a public relations coup rather than a military victory. Although Lawrence was brave under fire, he identified with the Arab cause to such an extent, James relates, that he compromised the truth in his articles and books written after the war ( Seven Pillars of Wisdom ) and, with the assistance of American journalist Lowell Thomas, created his own largely fictional image as a romantic war hero. James concurs with other researchers who have revealed Lawrence’s story of his capture and rape by the Turks at Dera as a lie. Illustrated.
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“James’s narrative is readable, his research wide-ranging and his judgments informed and tough-minded.”—The New York Times Book Review
During the 1920s, T. E. Lawrence gained global attention, both for his involvement in the Middle Eastern anti-imperialist movement, and for his vivid and sensational writings about his experiences. Despite the passage of many years and the emergence of a whole new set of problems in the Middle East, and fuelled by the success of the hit movie Lawrence of Arabia, the T. E. Lawrence mystique continues to fascinate. Controversial and provocative, this revised and updated edition of Lawrence James’s acclaimed biography penetrates and overturns the mythology that surrounds T. E. Lawrence. James traces the sometimes spurious Lawrence legend back to its truthful roots, yet remains dispassionate and generous in spirit throughout. The Golden Warrior presents readers with a fascinating study of one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable figures.