Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) first won fame for his writings and his participation in the British-sponsored Arab Revolt of WWI, but the adventurer known even in his day as "Lawrence of Arabia" is remembered today mostly as the subject of the 1962 film masterpiece based on his life. This splendid page-turner revitalizes this protean, enigmatic adventurer. That this colorful...more
Korda addresses some of the negative viewpoints on Lawrence taken by other biographers and historians and does well to try to deflate the ...more
I found the author was a joy to read and presented ...more
In his thoughtful, even handed approach, Korda demystifies his role in facilitating the Arab revolt of diverse tribes against the Turkish during World War 1 and the establishment of Iraq, Jordan, and Israel in the post-war division of the Ottoman Empire. Korda addresses some of the negative viewpoints on Lawrence taken by other biographers and historians and does well to try to deflate the ...more
My other cavil with this book is that Korda is mostly ...more
Lawrence is one of those rare people that have played a big part of the world we live in. Korda covers a lot of issues that are still relevant today, especially concerning the Middle East. This book goes beyond the Lawrence of Arabia ...more
Lawrence seems to have spent the first half of his life preparing to become a hero, was one for a couple years, then spent the ...more
A crack shot with a rifle or a pistol
A dedicated reader with a prodigious memory
Has a brilliant command over multiple languages
A gifted writer in English who has churned out multiple books, one of which was a best seller
Competent at archaeology, architecture and structural drawings and
Rides a motorcycle !
The last one was considered more of a superpower during the early 1900s when this gentleman was alive.
is it common practice among biographers to cite other biographers as primary evidence rather than, say, the "ample evidence" there is in historical letters and documents?
As others have pointed out, this feels like an admittedly well-written and very readablee reworking of the more accepted TEL biographies rather than an independent research to show something new. The 'Hero' angle was interesting and when Joseph Campbell was mentioned (on p141 for the first time...) I thought, ...more
T.E. Lawrence was an expert of medieval castles, and ancient pottery, an archaeologist, a military strategist, the leader of a force of Arabs who helped to turn the tide in World War I, a force and political strategist who helped to define the ...more
Lawrence was very much a hero, as well as many other things. He was a military ...more
Unsurprisingly, the book shines when ...more
When I asked my brother, who is a connoisseur of T.E. Lawrence biographies, which one would be a good one to start with he suggested Michael Kordas Hero. For one thing, its the most recent full-scale biography. Yes, its long but there are much longer tomes out there. He told me dont start with Lawrences dense thicket of prose, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Get the basic facts down first, then dive into Lawrences own assessment of what he did.
Hero begins in the middle of the ...more
My only small issue is that the whole book is VERY pro Lawrence (as you might imagine from the title) and I sometimes worried that Korda ...more
I really enjoyed the second half of the book, which was about what became of T.E. Lawrence after the war.
So when I saw a book by a well-known author on Lawrence of Arabia, aka T. E. Lawrence, I quickly grabbed it up to read. Now understand that the 700 page book was a little daunting in heft (that ...more
Mind you, it shouldn't be too shocking. He was definitely larger than life. And even I didn't know a lot, since I had the impression that he'd died not that long after WWI, well before his actual death in 1935.
He was definitely a fascinating figure, though. ...more
'Hero-The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia', published in 2011, is a seven ...more
"One of his companions on the trip behind Tukish lines described him as "an odd gnome, half cad---with a toch of genius," and a superior at headquarters in Cairo may have summed up the general opinion there of Lawrence when he asked, "Who is this extraordinary pip-squeak?"
To Those wo judged him be his quirky manner and his ill-fitting ...more