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.