Why did T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, at the height of his power and fame, opt for a life of relative obscurity by joining the lower ranks of the armed services? A possible explanation is offered.
Everyone has heard of T.E. Lawrence, soldier, scholar, author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and translator who led the Arab Legions in their Revolt against the Turks. However, it is the mind of Lawrence which holds the greatest fascination. What made this man, a success by any standards, suddenly decide at the height of his fame and power to bury himself in the lower ranks of the Army and shun the honours bestowed upon him by a grateful nation? Those who have sought to understand the mind of Lawrence have often denigrated him unfairly. Can we now, after all these years – he died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1935 – even begin to understand his complex psyche? In The Enigma Explained, Andrew Norman presents a searching yet sympathetic portrait of an extraordinary figure.
‘At a time when events in the Middle East cast such a dark shadow on world affairs, any study which increases our understanding of the history and politics of the region is to be welcomed. Andrew Norman’s book on TE Lawrence gives a valuable insight into the mind of the man who helped create some of the most politically disputed boundaries in Arabia.’
– General Sir Michael Rose KCB,CBE,DSO,QGM,DL
‘A quite profound study of an infinitely complex man.’
– George Willey