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on 14 March 2012
Being an avid reader of soldiers stories since a young boy, I have read bio's and autobio's of several top field commanders. Having read several short accounts of the life of T.E.Lawrence I decided to purchase his 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' as an Ebook for Kindle. I wasn't disappointed. His own writing style is very readable and the Ebook is well laid out. The illustrations give an added dimension to his story and very soon I found myself drawn into his extraordinary and inspiring adventures amongst the Arabs. Reading the book it makes you proud to be British and a supporter of the oppressed peoples of the world.
He was superbly fitted for the task set him by his military chiefs: an educated loner who studied history and could read maps and find his way around the desert, he brought his own special nature into force and could empathise with the nomadic tribes in a way that very few traditionally trained soldiers ever could.
Having visited Lawrence's small Cloud Hill cottage and seen how spartan it is, I can well understand how he needed and sought very few material possessions in his life. This is the truly inspiring stuff of the best boys-own-fiction, only it's even better, because Lawrence was real (I've seen his grave) He really lived and did what he did and was finally betrayed by the politicians, who carved up his own good works amongst themselves.
Using Amazon's one-click-buy system I received this Ebook almost instantly and cannot praise it enough. 'Lawrence of Arabia' - Seven Pillars of Wisdom [Illustrated]
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on 7 May 2013
T. E. Lawrence's masterly account of his wartime desert experiences has become not only an important academic work for those curious to know the origins of the current Middle East conflict but one of the great works of 20th Century English Literature.

The first 100 pages gives a potted breakdown of the history, geography and culture of the people he knew better than any other, the Arabs or Semites. Here are the metaphysics, the tribal loyalties, conflicts, strengths and weaknesses of this most tangible yet elusive of peoples. He could speak with authority on his subject for the simple reason he went 'native' - not altogether with the backing and support of his home nation although some enlightened military types such as Allenby and Wingate could see the value of this move. However, Lawrence was no dilettante but a serious scholar of the Middle East who should be given a wider hearing today when the media in particular search for the key origins of todays Middle Eastern issues.

Part of the problem for the wider acceptance of Lawrence and Seven Pillars is the legend. As 'Lawrence Of Arabia' he became a household name. Firstly, following Lowell Thomas's highly lucrative lecture and film tours. Secondly, as a recluse with ever increasing media attention and his untimely and speculative death. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, David Lean's 1962 cinematic epic. All three made the legend and it has become increasingly difficult to back-track through the perceptions and rumours that have abounded since.

As a narrative of war it has few equals. As a sizeable piece of Middle Eastern history it is indispensable.As an autobiography it ranks with the best; but perhaps its greatest achievement is the author's wonderful use of English prose that harks back to the middle-ages for its sheer beauty and effect, a style of prose that was already outmoded by the time Lawrence went to press in 1926. For this alone we can forgive his overuse of Oxfordisms, his petty mistakes and exaggerations that biographers have jumped upon.

Forget the Legend, read the man.
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on 11 March 2013
Quality product just like reading a normal book. Makes all the difference having the illustrations. Recommended if you are interested in T.E Lawrence. It's a bit "dry" but that goes with the territory.
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on 11 June 2013
Only 4 star in the Kindle format, where maps are not easy to see and there are numerous scanning / transcription errors which the reader has to interpret. I am sure I would have given the hard back version 5 stars. Oxford graduate T E Lawrence was a very erudite author and observer in a very difficult and dangerous but self imposed mission. At one stage he was captured, tortured and raped by Turkish soldiers but they failed to recognise him in spite of his pale skin and a very large price on his head, so he escaped.
The greatest fascination lies in his description of the intricate mixes of religion, race, political and economic variations and above all the confrontation between the fading Ottoman Empire and the still powerful British Empire which would follow the Ottomans in less than 40 years. All this occurred less than 100 years ago before the general exploitation of oil in the Middle East, against a back drop of duplicitous dealings by the British authorities with Arab nationalists struggling to free their country. Lawrence expressed pangs of conscience with regard to his part in deceiving his Arab allies.
The book helps form a believable background to the convoluted problems current in the Region. A strongly recommended read.
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on 21 May 2013
This book is a slow read filled with many many dates places tribes and countries involved in the arab conflict that Lawerance came across.
Lawrance writes this in a precise diary format as though speaking aloud, to date I have only read a quarter of the book so I may be doing it a disservice.
If you are looking thriller give this a miss but as a record containing a on the spot facts then consider it.
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on 11 February 2013
A classic history, where even the writing style tells a story about the war.

The book is rather repetitive, as that was the nature of the war, however it is a fascinating story - particularly in the light of subsequent history of the region
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on 13 April 2013
Rather disappointed from the man himself. The author tended to go off tangent and I was forever using the Kindle dictionary to find out the meaning of words. I will eventually get through the book in the hope that it gets more exciting.
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on 8 February 2014
It was a book that I enjoyed, but I feel that it was such a long story. But I love anything about Lawrence of Arabia
Because he was such a one off character.
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on 30 August 2012
Only starting this book but am seriously looking forward to it as TE was a boyhood hero of mine. My father recommended this as desired reading years ago.
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on 13 January 2013
Exceptional outline and the many reasons whyI can see that David Lean directed O'Toole as Lawrence, so brilliantly from these excellent notes!!
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