Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (The Authorized...” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 57% off the $19.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
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.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (The Authorized Doubleday/Doran Edition) Paperback – June 1, 1991
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
This is the exciting and highly literate story of the real Lawrence of Arabia, as written by Lawrence himself, who helped unify Arab factions against the occupying Turkish army, circa World War I. Lawrence has a novelist's eye for detail, a poet's command of the language, an adventurer's heart, a soldier's great story, and his memory and intellect are at least as good as all those. Lawrence describes the famous guerrilla raids, and train bombings you know from the movie, but also tells of the Arab people and politics with great penetration. Moreover, he is witty, always aware of the ethical tightrope that the English walked in the Middle East and always willing to include himself in his own withering insight.
Almost a century after the first Arab spring the 1916-18 revolt against the Ottoman empire, culminating in the triumphant capture of Damascus modern Arabia is still a war zone. More than half the articles in my latest Talking Newspapers Digest are about the Middle East what better reason to listen to a new unabridged version of this monumental account of the author's leading role in that earlier historic desert campaign, which made him one of the great legendary heroes of all time. The version I reviewed five years ago was so savagely abridged, you only really got the facts, and facts weren't TE's strong suit. Seven Pillars has been called a novel travelling under the cover of autobiography. I prefer the 1930s reviewer who said 'Lawrence has a novelist's eye for detail, a poet's command of the language, an adventurer's heart, a soldier's great story and his memory and intellect are at least as good as all those.' 'The heat of Arabia came out like a drawn sword and struck us speechless.' No one captures the beauty, the cruelty and immensity of the desert and its tribes as brilliantly as Lawrence. Thanks to his extensive prewar travels in Syria and Mesopotamia, he understood their manners, their mentality, their language. He was fluent in Arabic, Greek, Turkish and Syriac as well as French, German and Latin. In native dress he could pass as a Circassian shepherd. His recruitment by British intelligence in Cairo was inevitable, likewise his subsequent mission to unite the numerous warring Arab factions against the Turks and their German allies. In 1916 he had a price of £15,000 (£1m in today's money) on his head. But when, having led the Arab camel cavalry across the Negev desert to victory at Aqaba, Lawrence on a recce in Turkish-held Deraa was randomly taken in for questioning, the Bey accepted his Circassian shepherd cover story. He was flogged and gang-raped before being thrown out normal practice. Had he been recognised, death would have been a mercy. It's a long book but there's no way that the abridged version would have inspired David Lean to such cinematic heights. Lawrence was a complex man brave, intelligent, passionate, a reluctant hero deeply troubled by his divided British/Arab loyalties. He was truly the last of the gentleman adventurers. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian
Known to most as Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence was a passionate chronicler of Middle East military events during WWI, in which he was embedded. This book is his story. Narrator Roy McMillan conveys Lawrence's sincerity with a calm yet enthusiastic delivery, depicting a man fascinated with the world around him. Through McMillan's compassionate reading we can better understand how Lawrence found sympathy for the Arab cause of an Arab state at a time when the region was mostly tribal. Those seeking a wider understanding of the Middle East will be enlightened by Lawrence's observations of the land and its people during this pivotal development period. --AudioFile Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It is, ultimately, a pretty amazing book to read.
A few notes:
Before you read the book, do some quick background reading on the history that's involved. This will help avoid confusion.
Be prepared for a long read! It's not only a long book, it's an extremely dense book. The choppiness and frequent changes in tone make it hard to put on the reading cruise control.
Read it as a product of its time. Lawrence was a fascinating man, but not without his prejudices or faults.
Of all of these, Lawrence has fascinated me most. I first read SEVEN PILLARS when I was twelve, and I've read it every couple of years since then. As I grow wiser, it grows richer.
Lawrence was an unlikely defender of empire, an unlikelier man of action who forced himself into a kind of ascetic mental and physical preparation for the great deeds he felt himself called upon to play. Living as he did from 1888 to 1935, he was practically born in the last age where someone could express that claim without being ridiculed; and he found his war in the Arab Revolt, that long-lasting sideline to the War to End All Wars that produced more war -- and some great writers, among whom Lawrence was one.
This is a story of war. It's also a story of heroism and of anguish, written by a man who not only shaped events, but was shaped -- and warped -- by them. It can be read as military strategy, political history, travel story, or pathology.
But it's better to read it as itself: a unique and complex book written by a man who was loved and admired by the most famous people of his time, but who, in the end, wanted only obscurity and the anesthetizing speed of one of the motorcycles that killed him.
I bought this edition of "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" because it was the only hardcover version available at the time. I'm a big advocate of hardcover books, but avoid this one. I get the sense that the publishers simply took an old copy of the book, scanned it, converted the scan into a basic word processing document, and published it. If that is what happened, they never bothered to read through their generated document to check for basic typographical errors.
For example, on page 488 the text reads: "They circled off We, watching their line of/light, noticed a great cloud of apparent dust added to the slow smoke rising from the ruined yard at Mafrak station." In that sentence, it appears that a period has been omitted, a slash has been inserted, and a capital S has been rendered in lower case. That one is easy enough that I can work out what the text is supposed to say. But there are errors of this sort on almost every single page, and Lawrence employs a difficult writing style as it is. These excessive typographical errors significantly detract from the readability of the book.
A second serious problem-- there is not a single map in this book, though Lawrence did include a map in earlier editions. There are points of the story where it is necessary to know where things are situated in order to appreciate what is going on. It got to the point where I found and downloaded some maps from the internet, and taped them inside the covers of my book. I refrenced these maps constantly. The publishers did include some photographs in the back matter, but they were either too cheap or too lazy to include a map.
T.E. Lawrence has written a book that is worth reading (coming from me, that's pretty high praise), but avoid thie error-ridden fly-by-night edition.
Enough said about the original. This book has been around for nearly 100 years.
The text of the Kindle edition is shabby. It appears to have been scanned from a printed text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, and it is full of words that don't belong: the word "life" almost invariably appears as "Me" ("the gift of Me" [chapter 3] looks conceited even for this author); and the name "Ali" frequently appears as "Ah'", which complicates the difficulty of tracking the multitude of personal names. There are many other transcription errors to trip the reader. Also, why is the table of contents at the back of the book, where I found it only when I no longer needed it? Come on Amazon. You can do better than that!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Moderately disappointed. Awfully woody and mystical for modern readers. One of those works that I'm sure was in tune with post WWI times but has not quite stood the test of time. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Jumbo
Interesting perspective on the Arab war during WWI. I honestly believe that most of the problems in the Middle East today were started during WWI, when the British and French were... Read morePublished 15 days ago by denverd0n
After reading this you will understand why Middle East is so screw up and will not be solved in our lifetimePublished 17 days ago by Paul Tang
The book I received appeared never to have been scrutinized by an editor. I'm sure T.E. Lawrence was a fine writer, but the editor appears to have taken a grand vacation leaving... Read morePublished 27 days ago by CCMacC
Terrible copy. Full of typos and typesettings errors. Almost impossible to read. Here's a sample: "Chapter 24: Read Justment--New Plans"...perhaps "Re-adjustment"? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An interesting read about the development of the Middle East which leads towards where they are today.Published 1 month ago by peter mainhardt
This book and "The Mint" are the only books you'll need to read about T.E. Lawrence! This book is extremely verbose, but well worth it.Published 1 month ago by Deipnosophist