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Lawrence, Faisal and the making of the modern Middle East

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

The reputation of TE Lawrence—”Lawrence of Arabia”—is shrouded in several layers of myth-making, much of it of his own devising. In his new book, “Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East” (Atlantic Books, £25), the American writer Scott Anderson offers a reappraisal of Lawrence’s legacy, paying particular attention to his subject’s relationship with three men: the German spy Curt Prüfer, the American oilman William Yale and the Zionist Aaron Aaronsohn. 

The book begins with Lawrence refusing a knighthood from George V in October…

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