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To Begin the World Over Again
Lawrence of Arabia from Damascus to Baghdad
Lawrence of Arabia is best remembered for the Oscar-winning film about his life. But there is a different T.E. Lawrence, a man who applied his unique experiences and extensive knowledge of the Arab world to a political vision for nation building in the Middle East that holds many lessons for today. Following the Arab Revolt, Lawrence embarked on a heroic effort, harnessing his celebrity to force the British to keep the promises made to their Arab allies. Alas, he was unable to stop the Western powers from carving up the Middle East at Versailles, thus laying the foundations for the ongoing instability in that region. Still, until the day he died, Lawrence continued to fight for Arab nationalism, famously saying: “Better to let them do it imperfectly than do it perfectly yourself, for it is their country, their war, and your time is short.” By weaving together a gripping narrative of Lawrence’s Middle East adventures and highlighting his surprisingly astute political thinking, John Hulsman teases out this and many other lessons to be learned from Lawrence about the Arab world.
256 pages; ISBN 9780230100909
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