Patron Review: Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson

This biography of T.E. Lawrence and others reads like LeCarre on political intrigue in the lawrenceinarabiaMiddle East, World War I era. The author incorporates other players of that time and place (but not the usual suspects): a Zionist agronomist and spymaster, a German spy, and an American “sort of spy and Standard Oil lackey”. Given the current interest in Syria, not to mention the ongoing Middle East drama, I found it fascinating to read about the political intrigue, not to say duplicity, arrogance, greed and stupidity, that led to today’s map. There are portraits of better-known major players, including the original Saud family ( a small bit but ominous, given the future). The coda is particularly sad, not just because of Lawrence’s post-war career and early death, but for the ‘might-have-beens’, politically speaking.

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