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The Mint Hardcover – August 11, 1988


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Hardcover, August 11, 1988
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (August 11, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224026100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224026109
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,643,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

T.E. Lawrence was born on 16th August 1888 in Tremadog in Wales. He was one of five illegitimate children born to the Seventh Baron of Westmeath. He studied at Jesus College, Oxford where he became interested in the Middle East. He worked for British Intelligence during the First World War and fought with the Arab forces to defeat the Turks. His exploits earned him the title of "Lawrence of Arabia" back in Britain.Her resigned in 1922 and sought anonymity in the RAF where he enlisted as John Hume Ross. He later changed his name by deed poll to T.E. Shaw. Shortly after retiring from the RAF, T.E. Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident on 19th May 1935.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
This autobiographical book is written by T. E. Lawrence of "Lawrence of Arabia" fame. Dissapointed with the results of the World War One, he returned to England and enrolled annonymously in the RAF(Royal Air Force). He recounts the harrassing experience of boot camp and military life, with a few gems of human insight and reflection. As a cohesive narrative it fails, as literature to compare to his "Seven Pillars" if fails, but as an accurate and honest record of his life as lived in the pre-World War Two RAF it is highly illuminating. Miltary history and Lawrence fans will give this book an extra star, an important supplement of material on one the century's most fascinating people.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Wadlington on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Mint by T.E. Lawrence is a treasure. It is the little iron sided box of a book that he promised a friend he would make of his notes on joining the R.A.F. Lawrence chose to hide from his fame in the only place he now felt comfortable, the military ranks of fighting men. But there was no fighting now, the war was over and it was on to new things. The new thing that captured Lawrence's interest was the creation of the British Royal Air Force. He did not want to be the man in charge, sitting in an office somewhere directing it all, looking down on the action, he wanted to be in the middle of it all with the men who would do the job.
In his own words: "Events killed the longer book; so you have the introduction, set out at a greater length."
He was found out. There was a media frenzy. The great Lawrence of Arabia was living as an ordinary man in the ranks under an assumed name. It was way more attention than Lawrence or the budding R.A.F. could stand so Lawrence disappeared again. He hid out in the tank corps for two years before he could sneak back into the R.A.F.
Reading the Seven Pillars of Wisdom leaves you hungry to know more of the man and this tiny bit is all he was willing or able to give up of himself, after already giving so much in the First World War and the writing of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Lawrence meant it to become a book on the work of flying, but instead it is a book about men in the service, filled with Lawrence's insights of life in the ranks. It is not about the glory, but about the men. The training, endless drills and boredom are broken by little joys and defeats that happen almost between the lines. This book is not about battle, but living to do battle. It is about ordinary men who are warriors and a great warrior who preferred their company. The book's greatness comes from the man who wrote it, it is Lawrence, who always saw the ordinary in greatness and the greatness of the ordinary.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. F. Pace on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Called by T. E. Lawrence expert, Michael Yardley, the "most honest" of Lawrence's works, it is his account of his post-World War I service in the RAF. A definite must-read for Lawrence aficionados.
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By Maria Evans on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is easy and dramatic to assume that Lawrence as he was at the end of Seven Pillars was the way he would remain to the end of his short life. But The Mint denies this effectively. Lawrence set out to remake himself, and to some degree was successful, though his fellow recruits were as alien to him as the Arabs had been. The book challenges the idea that recovery is a binary: that one is either finally healed or still broken. Instead, it shows him as both: wholly healed, and permanently marked.

The book spends the first two thirds in the difficult life of the Depot. When it emerges from that dank darkness, as it does after only the briefest explanation of his time out of the RAF, it is different, full of slow appreciation without apprehensions. It is good, very good, to read Lawrence when he is happy. We don't have much of it, partly because he just found it easier to write about sorrows. But here it can be found. Near the end, when he describes a day on the motorcycle that killed him, there is nothing dark or desperate about the ride - just sheer joy in life.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By logosapiens VINE VOICE on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I remember an old TV show about the San Francisco Mint I saw as a child. The rows of shiny new money waiting to go into circulation in our economy. I wondered what it would be like working at the Mint. Would I succumb to temptation and steal the money?

I ended up in the mint for the military.The military has a mint for new military members which we who have served are all too familiar with...it is called basic training. Basic training produces newly minted members who go into circulation into the various branches of the military.

THE MINT is an interesting time capsule history of Lawrence's basic training at RAF UXBRIDGE prior to the Second World War. Sir Lawrence who was already famous as "Lawrence of Arabia" was not ready to retire from the military so while in his thirties he reenlisted in the RAF under an assumed name... "Airman Ross."

The ruse did not work at least on a social level since everyone in his unit seemed to know who Lawrence was. The other suspicious enlistees fawned over his footlocker full of Arabic books and Lawrence quickly had to take down a news picture of himself that had appeared in the barracks.

Life in basic training reflected the quiet desperation of men described by Thoreau. A suicide, and horrible kitchen cleaning procedures coupled with the strange aloofness of the surrounding civilian community echo my own experiences as a basic trainee.

The crash of a seaplane and the heroic rescue of the crew by Lawrence echoes the dashing heroics of the much feted hero of the desert idolized by the English press. Winston Churchill once called Lawrence the greatest man produced by the twentieth century (speaking in the thirties I think.
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