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Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Illustrated)

Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

T.E. Lawrence
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"It ranks with the greatest books ever written in the English language.As a narrative of war and is unsurpassable" (Winston Churchill)

"Round this tent-pole of a military chronicle, T. E. has hung an unexampled fabric of portraits, descriptions, philosophies, emotions, adventures, dreams" (E.M. Forster)

"I am not much of a hero-worshipper but I could have followed T.E. Lawrence over the edge of the world" (John Buchan)

"Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the major statements about the fighting experience of the First World War" (Angus Calder)

"Emotional and mythic" (Guardian)

Book Description

'It seems to me as certain of immortality as anything written in English for half a century' John Buchan

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2327 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1448670489
  • Publisher: First Rate Publishers (13 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By Rusty
I used to say that "Moby Dick" was the most challenging book I'd ever read, but Melville's prolific meditation on whale blubber has just been knocked off the top spot by Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". This epic tome took me more than 4 months to conquer. I'm a dedicated reader of fiction and my attention span struggles when confronted with history, especially from a military angle. Of course, some might argue that "Seven Pillars" isn't so much history as an embellished work of fiction...much of its content is considered inaccurate and egotistical. But I see no problem with this: I approached the work to learn about Lawrence himself and the Arab Revolt in equal measure. In fact, Lawrence openly admits that his account isn't perfect and that his actions were fuelled (at the time) by a thirst for greatness. He makes no secret of these flaws and opens himself up to criticism, making it all the more interesting to read about his own exploits in his own words.

But let me tell you, folks: it's seriously slow going. Here is a man so highly educated that his writing seems, at times, impenetrable. Be it the philosophy of guerrilla warfare, the wider scope of WW1 or the intricate tribal doings of the Bedouin people...whatever the subject, this man writes like a true Oxford scholar and his thoughts are hard to follow at times. I was tempted to give up on several occasions after rereading difficult passages (and there are many) up to three or four times...and still not quite grasping the meaning of it all. Making matters even trickier are the many names of Arabian families, factions and clans that float in and out of Lawrence's narrative. I found it hard just remembering who was who among the Allies, let alone the Egyptian/Arab/Turk/Syrian armies.
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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence of Arabia from his own point of view 5 Jan 2004
Having been a geat fan of the David Lean film ever since my father took me as a 7 year old boy to see it when it was first released, I had intended to read Lawrence's own account of the events covered by the film for a long time. The book itself is a mixture of autobiographical recounting of the events covered by the film and a travelogue interspersed with almost essay type observations by Lawrence on a wide variety of subjects including the plight of the Arabs, their culture, his own motivation and the wartime life of soldiers in general. Most of the book is descriptive with very little in the way of dialogue and it can at times become very difficult to persevere with, particularly during the author's sometimes extreme moments of navel-gazing. However, the persistent reader is taken on a unique journey with Lawrence through his adventures, middle eastern culture and the spectacular desert scenery of the area. When the time came to part I was rather sorry that the journey was over as Lawrence is, if nothing else, an extremely knowledgeable guide. Taken as an adjunct to the film (which takes a certain amount of artistic licence with the facts) the book deepens one's understanding of its political, geographical and personal context and provides a unique insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the man himself.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Nothing Else, Read it for the Style Alone! 18 Aug 2005
What surprised me most about this book is just how superb a writer Lawrence was. One can open the book anywhere and find sentences of extraordinary beauty and accomplishment, entirely evocative of the sometimes overwhelming landscapes and dilemmas Lawrence was living through. This isn't just a chronicle of a military campaign, it is a masterpiece of English Literature. The author bears comparison with Edward Gibbon, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy. Dare I say, all recent Booker Prize winners should read it as further instruction in just how to turn masterly prose!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental 30 Jan 2008
By H
This book has continued to haunt me for ten years, ever since I first read it. It took me a whole summer, and I'm a pretty good reader. One of the reviews here has described it as "dry as a desert", and in a way I agree, since its beauty is not superficial and it takes effort and endurance, and it's definitely not easy to navigate, but in my case it was worth every step of the way.

It's not a book to learn the history of the Arab revolt. It's about its author, one of the most mysterious men that ever wrote a book. Lawrence's mindset and complex psychology is highly uncommon, no less than his talent for writing. This book was almost like a journey, and it changed me in subtle and enduring ways - but then again I'm quite a passionate person. I'm sure this is not a book for everyone. But it could be something big for some, something important.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever 9 Sep 2006
Brilliant. T E Lawrence poured his soul into this magnificently crafted autobiography. It takes you from his arrival in Cairo as an upstart academic, through his dramatic evolution into a desert soldier/strategist and leader of the Arab revolt against the Turks, to his ultimate failure to win justice for the people he'd grown to be part of. Lawrence was a gifted writer as well as an extraordinary soldier and I was fascinated by the insights that run through it: into his political naivety, his ambivalent loyalties, and the hints of concern (almost certainly ill-founded) about his own mental state. The combination of high politics and personal danger, played out in the dramatic and mysterious Arab world as it meets the West is quite magnificent.

The writing style is nineteenth century and the language and prose may be unfamiliar to many but this is the most rewarding book I have read. It's the one I unhesitatingly offer as the best ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence of Arabia
It takes some serious reading but the film is easier to follow
Published 9 days ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars ... not a pure true story it still is wery beautifully written.
A classic book and even if it is not a pure true story it still is wery beautifully written.
Published 18 days ago by Gunnar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a classic read
Published 23 days ago by Mr Steve Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Well what can one say about this book which has ...
Well what can one say about this book which has not already been said. Its a true classic, fascinating in every way and one of those books you just can not put down.
Published 28 days ago by David Ian Viccars
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is phenomena,
This book is phenomena, and it’s even more intriguing that these event happened about 100 years ago and right now there is similar struggle in the same geographical area…
Published 1 month ago by Abiodun O Olowosoyo
5.0 out of 5 stars All the current troubles in the middle east appear to ...
All the current troubles in the middle east appear to stem from what the French and British did at the end of WW1. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neil Angus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather a disapointment
When I started this book at the introduction and through the early chapters, I found this a most fascinating insight into the Arab Revolt of the Great War, the people concerned in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. I. Robinson
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic book a bit slow at times
It is worth reading and wonderfully written. It is very interesting to see that, almost 100 years ago, the Arab countries (nations at Lawrence's times) faced very similar issues to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by G. Samsa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, fast service!
Published 2 months ago by sharon goodeve
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry of Araby !
Classic military account of TE Lawrence's exploits in Arabia during WW1.
Published 2 months ago by Nathaniel Clark
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