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The golden warrior: The life and legend of Lawrence of Arabia Hardcover – 1993

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; 1st Paragon ed edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557785791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557785794
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,057,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The image of the British hero soldier T. (Thomas) E. (Edward) Lawrence (1888-1935) is tarnished by James ( The Savage Wars: The British Conquest of Africa, 1870-1920 ). The biographer, who obtained access to formerly unavailable documents, controversially posits in his carefully researched study that Lawrence's WW I military activites to spur an Arab revolt against the Turks, in order to assist the allied forces, was a public relations coup rather than a military victory. Although Lawrence was brave under fire, he identified with the Arab cause to such an extent, James relates, that he compromised the truth in his articles and books written after the war ( Seven Pillars of Wisdom ) and, with the assistance of American journalist Lowell Thomas, created his own largely fictional image as a romantic war hero. James concurs with other researchers who have revealed Lawrence's story of his capture and rape by the Turks at Dera as a lie. Illustrated.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The only thing more surprising than the number and flow of T.E. Lawrence biographies is the Rashomonesque quality to the works. From early hero worship to the most foul denigration to a more moderate, modern view of this gifted, tortured man, Lawrenciana has run the gamut. James, author of numerous histories, has placed his own peculiar interpretation on Lawrence's life: that of active homosexual. James has used his own modest skills to try to convince the reader that the repressed, almost asexual Lawrence was just the opposite. James's results are at best mixed, and he adds very little to what is already known about, in any area. Readers and libraries would be better off consulting editions of Lawrence's letters and works such as John F. Mack's A Prince of Our Disorder ( LJ 4/1/76) and Jeremy Wilson's more recent Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography ( LJ 6/15/90).
- Katherine Gillen, Mesa P.L., Ariz.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By O'Grady Brian on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Nearly finished this book but thought I would share my comments now.

The book is written very much for someone who already knows about Lawrence's life and is adding this to their collection.

It doesn't seem to take into account that you might actually want to read about his life and be kept in some suspense about what will happen. He jumps back and forth in time quite a lot in the beginning because he tends to first discuss a period in high level before then dealing with it in a chapter. Very annoying as if you're reading a masters thesis which lays out

all its conclusions at the beginning and the rest of the book is an attempt to back up those statements. Takes a lot of the fun out of the read.

I read recently Rice's biography of Capt. Sir Richard Francis Burton and this really demonstrated a much better way of presenting a biography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hancock the Superb on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia attempts a straight academic biography of an extremely difficult subhect. Notable historian Lawrence James provides relatively little original research or fresh insight, and his analysis occasionally grates. Nonetheless, he deserves credit for an intriguingly complex portrait of Lawrence.

Despite his cynicism towards the "Lawrence legend," James scrupulously rebukes many critical claims. Addressing Phillip Knightley and Colin Simpson's accusations of pre-war espionage (The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia), James argues Lawrence the archaeologist "would have found out nothing... not already well-known to the British government" (45). He also tersely dismisses conspiracy theorizing about Lawrence's death as "thriller fantasy" (495). Between this and his healthy skepticism towards Lawrence's own writings, James establishes himself as a credible biographer.

The most interesting sections involve the Lawrence legend itself. James has a deep background in British history, and he does a great job placing Lawrence's fame in context. In the grim aftermath of World War I, James shows how much the English-speaking world needed a hero like Lawrence, who mixed traditional romanticism with modern "common man" appeal. He also captures Lawrence's complicity in starting the legend, and mixed feelings of its perpetuation. James ends the book with an overview of Lawrence's portrayal in biography and popular media, growing and mutating to meet cultural needs and the whims of biographers.

Like other authors, James views Lawrence through his fantasies. Chafing at a strict but not unhappy childhood, the young Lawrence tested his physical limits, traveled abroad and plunged himself into foreign cultures.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Brown on February 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author is faced with the difficult task of showing that T.E. Lawrence embellished his own deeds without taking away from what he did accomplish. While the myths about the man are interesting (the classic Lawrence of Arabia movie) the real story is far more interesting. A great book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Every famous story has a true story behind it, and "Lawrence of Arabia" is no different. "The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia" looks to tell the true story of this historic figure. T.E. Lawrence slowly rose to international fame for standing up to Europe's imperialism in the middle east. A superstar following World War I for being both an advisor to Winston Churchill and one of the people fighting against him, his story is a riveting tale that is timeless. "The Golden Warrior" is a must for anyone who wants to know the entire Lawrence of Arabia story.
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