- Paperback: 561 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition, Thus edition (April 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780674704947
- ISBN-13: 978-0674704947
- ASIN: 0674704940
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,405,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence First Edition, Thus Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A hugely admired, and Pulitzer prize-winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can 'explain' his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence's actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence's psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject. (Desmond Christy The Guardian)
We are not likely to get as thorough and judicious a biography of T. E. Lawrence for some time. (New York Times Book Review)
A great book which honors its subject, its form, and its author. (Boston Sunday Globe)
Mack's handling of this information is a model of sensitive psychoanalytical expertise. (Newsweek)
Takes us closer to the core of Lawrence than any previous biography. (Time)
Unlike many 'psycho-biographies', this was written by a trained psychologist who had also done his biographer's homework: it remains the best biography of T.E. Lawrence. (Contemporary Review)
About the Author
John Mack, M.D., was Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Founding Director of the Center for Psychology and Social Change, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 24 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
So sad for all of us that our leaders are not of the same introspective type. Dr. Mack comments in his introduction that "The destructive leader, and the eagerness of a large segment of the population to identify with him, comprise one of the central threats -- if not the greatest threat -- that faces human society. There is perhaps an increasing unwillingness to entrust our well-being and our lives to individuals and characters we do not understand and whose ultimate purposes we are ignorant of." Let's hope so.
Jeremy Wilson's massive biography "Lawrence of Arabia" may better satisfy military readers interested in extensive contemporary document citations, and includes much more detail on Lawrence's Cairo years. Wilson also has a better set of photographs. The 1922 Oxford full text of "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," edited by Jeremy and Nicole Wilson and available from Castle Hill Press in the UK, is most highly recommended to all who find "T.E.L." fascinating.
But there is a larger worry. Exactly how much can we know about another person? How much do we need to know, for instance, about the relatively short period of Lawrence's life and participation/leadership during the Arab revolt than what Lawrence avers beautifully in the 1922 Oxford edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, echoing the book of Ecclesiastes: "Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their own dream with open eyes, and make it possible. This I did."?
I suppose it depends upon how enthralled you are with Lawrence's life and his endeavours, as related by Mack. So, it's all rather subjective, as I think Mack, and certainly Lawrence, would agree. So, here are my impressions: Lawrence, as an associate said of him, was "a modern Percival" who steeped himself in Provencal poetry, did major archaeological work before the war at the sites of the Crusades, carried out guerilla raids during the "Arab Revolt" and then withdrew from the modern world, all in keeping with a deeply engrained notion of chastity, service and self-abnegation. As Mack thoroughly shows here, one simply can't separate - as most try to do - the Lawrence of Arabia who was a figure on the world stage, and the one who changed his name several times, joined the RAF as a ranker, drove his motorcycles at top speeds without a helmet, became an expert speed-boat mechanic and paid a burly Scotsman to flagellate him brutally on several occasions. They're all of a piece. Aside from his motorcycle, he disdained material possessions, and gave whatever money he might have had to fellow airmen in need, and touched nearly all who knew him with his unworldly generosity - except, and this is important, some of the officers under whom he served as a ranker. In short, he WAS a sort of modern Percival, with an oddly medieval mindset, and his actions, such as they were, were quite in keeping with that mindset.
Cue back to why I think it important that the officers didn't like him. I think this is key to understanding why such an anachronistic figure remains a hero to many in the 21st Century. In "acting out his dream with open eyes," Lawrence ignored, snubbed or found ways around those who were placed over him in the chain of command. And, put it down to what you will, he got away with it. That's why the modern world remains fascinated by him. This modern Percival actually had a meeting with King George V in which he turned down a knighthood. Only his own personal Holy Grail would do. And the baubles offered by a modern king were just that. In short, though Lawrence was, au fond, backwards looking, he became, and remains for many, that very modern invention, the anti-hero, "a prince of our disorder" as historian Irving Howe put it.
It's a credit to Mack that he leaves the "question" of Lawrence unresolved or, rather, leaves the reader to make of this extremely readable book about an extremely remarkable man what he/she will. Ultimately, the question of personal identity remains an elusive mystery.
Shortly before his fatal motorcycle crash, a ship contractor told him that "you'll break your blinking neck on that thing." This modern Percival replied, "Well, better than dying in bed", mounted his modern steed and roared off. His brief will left two copies of Shelley's poetry, one for his younger brother, one for his solicitor.