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With Lawrence in Arabia

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Prion (first published 1924)
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Thomas Simpson
A lot of it is pure sensationalist, orientalist exaggeration, I'm sure. Much of the attitude presented by the book towards Arabs or the Turks is wildly out of date and reflective of the attitudes during the war. So that gets the book dinged a little book. The bigger problem is that Lawrence, despite much praise given to him throughout the account, also seems oddly missing through much of the book until the last third or so. This is fine, I suppose, since Thomas gives a lot of detail about Arabia ...more
Bob
In this 1967 edition, Lowell Thomas added forty pages of brief biographical material concerning some of the men who served with Colonel T. E. Lawrence during the Arabian Revolt of 1916-18. He focused primarily on their career highlights and anything they had personally to say about Lawrence.

In his added forward, Thomas points out that the 1963 David Lean film "Lawrence of Arabia," although a cinematographic marvel, was a historical disaster and its rewrite and distortion of history to portray La
...more
Martin
This book had been my briefcase read for a while. Thomas wrote this before Lawrence's Revolt in the Desert and Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Thomas also created one of the first slide shows which he delivered to audiences around the world. It was this traveling slide show that made Lawrence famous and Thomas very rich.

While the language Thomas reads makes it an easy read, it is a somewhat cartoonish in its characterizations. Every Arab (save one) is a great fighter, of solid character, a good guy. Ev
...more
Tom Oman
This was written by Thomas in his characteristic sensationalist style intended for consumption by the hysterical masses. He simplifies the people and events involved and often takes liberties in order to exemplify one trait or another. This book is not high on integrity or staying true to facts. It is written in an almost Gonzo style of journalism, running through the quick and dirty highlights of these exhilarating events.

Besides the fact that this book is not the academic authority on TE Lawr
...more
Bubba
This was originally written in 1924. Thomas' grasp of ancient and medieval history is suspect. His description of modern Arabs often displays the prejudices of his era. He also hero-worships Lawrence. That said, he offers some very good first hand reporting on Lawrence and interesting descriptions of key battles in the asymetric and conventional sides of the Middle Eastern campaign. He also does some justice to Arab culture. Unlike most of the faculty I encountered in my Near Eastern studies pro ...more
Conrad
Lowell Thomas was obviously awe-struck by the shy and slender young Englishman, T.E. Lawrence, dressed as an Arab prince but if his book is tainted with hero-worship there is no individual in modern times more deserving of it. The exploits of Lawrence in uniting the many contentious Bedouin tribes of Arabia into a cohesive fighting force to overthrow the rule of the Turkish Ottoman Empire are staggering to say the least. Thomas captures the story of Lawrence's exploits in such a way that they re ...more
David
Lowell Thomas was one of those breathless sorts who was quite adept at putting himself into a good story. He was there, reporting on the Arab campaign, an imbedded reporter before the phrase came into use. Lawrence cut a unique swath of success in a war that seemed to create nothing but disaster for most commanders and their troops. His photographs and reports were a sensation and helped propel Lawrence into the public arena. This book, and Lawrence's own account of the Arab campaign in his book ...more
Mary
I picked this book up at a rummage sale years ago and it's finally resurfaced on a long lost bookshelf. I remember reading it way before the turmoil of current day in the middle east. Back then I dog-earred a page where Lawrence said: 'The handling of Arabs might be termed an art, not a science, with many exceptions and no obvious rules ... Your success will be in proportion to your mental effort.' That was in 1924!! Not much has changed.
Yann
Chapter 31 - The Secret of Lawrence's Success

"...What was the secret of Lawrence's success, and how could a Christian and European gain such influence over fanatical Mohammedans? What reward did Lawrence receive? Would he write his own story? Where was he then, how did he earn a living, and what about his future? Would he ever marry? Was he a normal human being and did he have a sense of humor?"
Tricia
Sometimes I grow weary of fiction..... this historical account of WWI in the Middle East is history that reads like fiction. FANTASTIC book.
Robert Lees
Jul 21, 2014 Robert Lees rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in the Middle East
Great help in understanding the current status of the Middle East.
David Butler
This title but not by this author.
Mike O'brien
Dec 22, 2007 Mike O'brien rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
This book sucked. I stuck with it because I just lived where he worked his magic, but the book was more of an admiring report than a narrative of what happened. It's the only time in my life that I can say the movie was better than the book, and you know how slow and long the movie is? ... Well, try reading the book. Or rather, don't.
Len Knighton
I remember listening to Thomas' final newscast. I loved him on the radio; I have not loved him in print. This was the second book I've read by Thomas and both were disappointing. Too much superfluous material, in my opinion.
Sean
Jul 14, 2009 Sean marked it as to-read
I found a 1st edition of this book (Sweet) hope the book show a little insight into the mind of the not only the T.E. but also the author.
Michael Manzano
I found a copy of the 1967 edition with the new forward by the author discussing the David Lean film starring Peter O'Toole.
Rachel
My copy of this book is actually the 1967 copy. It was my dad's. =)
Keith Slade
Good introduction to T. E. Lawrence.
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