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 Br...more
Korda addresses some of the negative viewpoints on Lawrence taken by other biographers and historians and does well to try to deflate the ps ...more
I found the author was a joy to read and presented Lawren ...more
My other cavil with this book is that Korda is mostly re ...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 an ...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 ...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 ps ...more
This book does not glamorize, nor romanticize Lawrence's life, nor T.H. Lawrence as a person, but neither did it seem slanted the other way. Lawrence is enigmatic as a person, but also quite fierce as ...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 1900’s when this gentleman was alive ...more
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 th ...more
Lawrence was very much a hero, as well as many other things. He was a military ...more
Unsurprisingly, the book shines when Lawre ...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 Korda’s ‘Hero’. For one thing, it’s the most recent full-scale biography. Yes, it’s long but there are much longer tomes out there. He told me don’t start with Lawrence’s dense thicket of prose, ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’. Get the basic facts down first, then dive into Lawrence’s own assessment of what he did.
‘Hero’ begins in the middle ...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 w ...more
For an interesting topic the author provided a drawn out portrayal. It started with Lawrence's exploits in the Arabian penisula then went back to his childhood and early years which were presented in drab fashion. Then back to exploits after Aqaba.
The author jumped around, often repeating bits of information and meandering to other topics. For instance there was ...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 i ...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. Archaeologist ...more