Michael Korda–Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

Posted on November 27, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Cult, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Films, Foreign Policy, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Movies, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

UPDATED October 15, 2013

Lawrence of Arabia DVD

“All men dream: but not equally.

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their

Minds wake in the day to find that it was

vanity:  but the dreamers of the day are

dangerous men, for they may act their

dream with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

“…Feisal asked me if I would wear Arab clothes like his own while in the camp. I should find it better for my own part, since it was a comfortable dress in which to live Arab-fashion as we must do. Besides, the tribesmen would then understand how to take me. The only wearers of khaki in their experience had been Turkish officers, before whom they took up an instinctive defence. If I wore Meccan clothes, they would behave to me as though I were really one of the leaders; and I might slip in and out of Feisal’s tent without making a sensation which he had to explain away each time to strangers. I agreed at once, very gladly; for army uniform was abominable when camel-riding or when sitting about on the ground; and the Arab things, which I had learned to manage before the war, were cleaner and more decent in the desert. …”

~Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Chapter 20

 

“…Perhaps nobody would describe better the effect Lawrence had on his contemporaries than Churchill at the forthcoming peace conference: “He wore his Arab robes, and the full magnificence of his countenance revealed itself. The gravity of his demeanor; the precision of his opinions; the range and quality of his conversations; all seemed enhanced to a remarkable degree by the splendid Arab head-dress and garb. From amid the flowing draperies his noble features, hi perfectly chiseled lips and flashing eyes loaded with fire and comprehension shone forth. He looked like what he was, one of Nature’s greatest princes.”

~Hero, The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, pages 451-452.

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

Michael Korda (Photo by Lars Lonninge)

WNYC interviews author and editor Michael Korda about his new biography of T. E. Lawrence, “Hero.”

“…“I found myself constantly in Lawrence’s path,” notes Korda. And his sweeping and detailed portrait maps a complex, self-created life. The book’s title, “Hero,” was “meant to be both iconic and ironic.” Lawrence, who was classically educated, consciously modeled himself on such epic heroes as Ajax and Agamemnon, and dreamed of military glory. This was a common enough romantic longing among young men in post-Edwardian England, but he was driven by more urgent circumstances. He had intuited correctly that he was illegitimate (his father, a wealthy Irish peer, had run away with the family governess). As a result, he felt an urgent need to distinguish himself in public, and extinguish any glimmer of sexuality in private.   “He set out to create a persona as if he were creating an object totally divorced from himself,” says Korda (pictured at right). “And the irony is that he succeeded too well. He created such a successful Lawrence, such an heroic Lawrence, such a famous and celebrated Lawrence, that he couldn’t escape—it’s Frankenstein’s monster.”

Lawrence would have found some way to make his mark at any time, but history seemed almost to bend to his will. As the First World War drew miserably on, the British came to see the Middle East as a fulcrum of power, and Lawrence became one of the leaders of a revolt that he hoped would create a modern Arab state. In the end, both he and his Arab comrades (whom he would help place on the thrones of the newly created Iraq and Jordan), were betrayed by the Allies’ hunger for territory. “What we live with today,” says Korda, “is a reflection of the failure of those promises.”

 http://culture.wnyc.org/articles/features/2010/nov/29/hero-life-and-legend-lawrence-arabia/

What We Need to Learn From T.E. Lawrence

by Michael Korda

“,,,Much of what we face today in the Middle East (and even in Afghanistan) has its roots in Lawrence’s doomed struggle to get the Arabs what he (and they) thought they had been promised and deserved for rising in revolt against the Ottoman Empire, and in the betrayal of their hopes and his at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Therein lies the birth of the many grievances and bitterly disputed frontiers that still divide the region fatally, and which in the last 90 years have caused enough bloodshed to stain the sands of the desert red, with no sign that it will stop any time soon. But neither have we turned back to Lawrence to see where the Western world went wrong, or to learn from him how to understand and deal with the roots of Muslim anger at the West, or with the wars of terrorism and insurgency of which Lawrence was to some degree the inventor. It was not for nothing that he was known to the Arabs he rode with as “Emir Dynamit” (Prince Dynamite), the man who more than any other introduced them to novelty of high explosives, and to their use as a weapon and a political statement.

 Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia By Michael Korda 784 pages. Harper. $36. Lawrence’s whole life was one of extraordinary achievement and determination: one of the five illegitimate sons of an Anglo-Irish aristocrat who gave up his home, title, and fortune to run away with the young Scottish governess of his four daughters. Despite this unpromising background, Lawrence was a scholar whose “First” at Oxford was so brilliant that his tutor hosted an unprecedented dinner for the examiners to celebrate it, a daring and gifted young archeologist (whose exploits in what is now Syria and Iraq suggest that he might have served as the model for Indiana Jones), a military hero of the first rank, a strategist and writer of genius, and a diplomat and kingmaker who despite his youth dealt with presidents and prime ministers as an equal, and played a significant role in shaping the modern Middle East, as well as warning where its stress points would be—warnings that were ignored at the time, and, worse, are still being ignored. …”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-15/te-lawrence-michael-korda-hero-on-his-middle-east-legacy/

 

“…Synopsis

Michael Korda’s Hero is the story of an epic life on a grand scale: a revealing, in-depth, and gripping biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile—including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes—made him an object of intense fascination, still famous the world over as “Lawrence of Arabia.”

An Oxford scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters’ governess, Lawrence was sent to Cairo as a young intelligence officer in 1916. He vanished into the desert in 1917 only to emerge later as one of the greatest—and certainly most colorful—figures of World War One. Though a foreigner, he played a leading and courageous part in uniting the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks, and eventually capture Damascus, transforming himself into a world-famous hero, hailed as “the Uncrowned King of Arabia.”

In illuminating Lawrence’s achievements, Korda digs further than anyone before him to expose the flesh-and-blood man and his contradictory nature. Here was a born leader who was utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain, thirst, fatigue, and danger, yet who remained shy, sensitive, mod-est, and retiring; a hero who turned down every honor and decoration offered to him, and was racked by moral guilt and doubt; a scholar and an aesthete who was also a bold and ruthless warrior; a writer of genius—the author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, one of the greatest books ever written about war—who was the virtual inventor of modern insurgency and guerrilla warfare; a man who at the same time sought and fled the limelight, and who found in friendships, with everyone from Winston Churchill to George Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, from Nancy Astor to NoËl Coward, a substitute for sexual feelings that he rigorously—even brutally and systematically—repressed in himself.

As Korda shows in his brilliantly readable and formidably authoritative biography, Lawrence was not only a man of his times; he was a visionary whose accomplishments—farsighted diplomat and kingmaker, military strategist of genius, perhaps the first modern “media celebrity” (and one of the first victims of it), and an acclaimed writer—transcended his era.Korda examines Lawrence’s vision for the modern Middle East—plans that, had they been carried through, might have prevented the hatred and bloodshed that have become ubiquitous in the region. Ultimately, as this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains one of the most unique and fascinating figures of modern times, the arch-hero whose life is at once a triumph and a sacrifice and whose capacity to astonish still remains undimmed. …”

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Hero/Michael-Korda/e/9780061712616/?itm=1&USRI=michael+korda

Hero

The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

By Michael Korda

“…From Michael Korda, author of the New York Times bestselling Eisenhower biography Ike and the captivating Battle of Britain book With Wings Like Eagles, comes the critically-acclaimed definitive biography of T. E. Lawrence—the legendary British soldier, strategist, scholar, and adventurer whose exploits as “Lawrence of Arabia” created a legacy of mythic proportions in his own lifetime. Many know T.E. Lawrence from David Lean’s Oscar-winning 1962 biopic—based, itself, upon Lawrence’s autobiographical Seven Pillars of Wisdom—but in the tradition of modern biographers like John Meacham, David McCullough, and Barbara Leaming, Michael Korda’s penetrating new examination reveals new depth and character in the twentieth century’s quintessential English hero.

Book Description

Michael Korda’s Hero is the story of an epic life on a grand scale: a revealing, in-depth, and gripping biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile—including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes—made him an object of intense fascination, still famous the world over as “Lawrence of Arabia.”

An Oxford scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters’ governess, Lawrence was sent to Cairo as a young intelligence officer in 1916. He vanished into the desert in 1917 only to emerge later as one of the greatest—and certainly most colorful—figures of World War One. Though a foreigner, he played a leading and courageous part in uniting the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks, and eventually capture Damascus, transforming himself into a world-famous hero, hailed as “the Uncrowned King of Arabia.”

In illuminating Lawrence’s achievements, Korda digs further than anyone before him to expose the flesh-and-blood man and his contradictory nature. Here was a born leader who was utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain, thirst, fatigue, and danger, yet who remained shy, sensitive, mod-est, and retiring; a hero who turned down every honor and decoration offered to him, and was racked by moral guilt and doubt; a scholar and an aesthete who was also a bold and ruthless warrior; a writer of genius—the author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, one of the greatest books ever written about war—who was the virtual inventor of modern insurgency and guerrilla warfare; a man who at the same time sought and fled the limelight, and who found in friendships, with everyone from Winston Churchill to George Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, from Nancy Astor to Noël Coward, a substitute for sexual feelings that he rigorously—even brutally and systematically—repressed in himself. …”

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Hero-Michael-Korda/?isbn=9780061712616

Background Articles and Videos

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 1 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 2 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 3 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 4 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 5 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 6 of 7

T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 7 of 7

Lawrence of Arabia part 1

Lawrence of Arabia : part 2

T.E. Lawrence

“…Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888[5] – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, have earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title popularised by the 1962 film based on his life.

Lawrence’s public image was due in part to American journalist Lowell Thomas’ sensationalised reportage of the revolt as well as to Lawrence’s autobiographical account Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922) ….”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence

Lawrence of Arabia, The Life and The Legend

http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/54/Lawrence/index.htm

Maurice Jarre – Lawrence Of Arabia

Book TV: Michael Korda “With Wings Like Eagles”

 

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA(1962) Original Theatrical Trailer

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

Lawrence of Arabia–Videos

T.E. Lawrence and Lawrence of Arabia — Photos and Videos


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