Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

Lawrence in Arabia

War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

By Scott Anderson
25-minute read
Audio available
Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson

Lawrence in Arabia (2013) reveals how a small cast of characters forever changed the Middle East during World War I and the Arab Revolt. At its center was T. E. Lawrence, a brash and untrained young military officer who was torn between two nations and experienced firsthand the broken promises of politics and the horrors of war.

  • Students and historians interested in World War I
  • People curious about the history of the Middle East
  • Anyone who likes a thrilling story

Scott Anderson is a journalist who has specialized in reporting from war-torn areas such as Lebanon, Israel and Bosnia. His work has appeared in Esquire, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. His other books include The Man Who Tried to Save the World and The 4 O’Clock Murders.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Lawrence in Arabia

War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

By Scott Anderson
  • Read in 25 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 16 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
Synopsis

Lawrence in Arabia (2013) reveals how a small cast of characters forever changed the Middle East during World War I and the Arab Revolt. At its center was T. E. Lawrence, a brash and untrained young military officer who was torn between two nations and experienced firsthand the broken promises of politics and the horrors of war.

Key idea 1 of 16

Thomas Edward Lawrence’s deep fascination with history led him to the Middle East.

There’s a chance you may know of T. E. Lawrence, the man made famous in the classic movie Lawrence of Arabia. But you probably know less about the formative years of this man who played such a crucial role in the Middle East during World War I.

Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in 1888. As a middle-class teenager in Oxford, England, he developed an early curiosity in European and Egyptian history, spending most of his free time at the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.

In 1909, while working on his senior thesis at Oxford, he embarked on a wildly ambitious project: Lawrence walked throughout Syria, studying every castle built during the Crusades to determine whether the Christians learned about architecture from the Muslims or vice versa.

During this trip, Lawrence was met with great hospitality and quickly fell in love with the Middle East.

The staff at Oxford were so impressed by his thesis that he was invited to stay in the Middle East to help out at an archeological dig for his beloved Ashmolean Museum.

By 1911, he was working in Carchemish, an ancient city located on the border of Turkey and Syria.

He got to know Middle Eastern culture very well and, as one of the heads of the excavation site, he proved himself to be a natural leader.

He frequently wrote home to his family, telling them how he felt right at home in Carchemish: he was earning the respect of the locals through his impressive understanding of their history as well as his ability to work long hours under the blistering desert sun.

Lawrence spent the next three years working in Carchemish, during which time Europe and the Middle East wound up on the brink of World War I.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.