Academic journal article Military Review

Guerrilla Leader: T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt

Academic journal article Military Review

Guerrilla Leader: T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt

Article excerpt

GUERRILLA LEADER: T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, James J. Schneider, Bantam Books, New York, 2011, 313 pages, $28.00

THOMAS EDWARD LAWRENCE was an extremely effective battlefield officer, a brilliant writer and military theorist, and protagonist in a personal drama that has captured the attention of people across the world. James J. Schneider has taken on quite a subject and produced quite a book. All biographers have to focus. Basil Liddell Hart, interwar England's foremost writer on military affairs, tried to establish a faithful narrative of events in Colonel Lawrence: The Man Behind the Legend (1934.) (He had direct help from his subject matter, a friend, who answered Liddell Hart's inquiries.) And, Harvard psychiatrist John Mack emphasized personal compulsions originating in birth out-of-wedlock, in his Pulitzer Prize winning A Prince of Our Disorder (1976).

Schneider, an expert on military theory, which he taught at the School of Advanced Military Studies, places Lawrence's military role in the Middle Eastern theater of World War I. That subject is not as obvious as it might first appear. The character in question was simply overwhelming, and he remains so. …

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