Author(s): John C. Hulsman
Lawrence of Arabia is best remembered for the Oscar-winning film about his life. But there is a different T.E. Lawrence, a man who applied his unique experiences and extensive knowledge of the Arab world to a political vision for nation building in the Middle East that holds many lessons for today. Following the Arab Revolt, Lawrence embarked on a heroic effort, harnessing his celebrity to force the British to keep the promises made to their Arab allies. Alas, he was unable to stop the Western powers from carving up the Middle East at Versailles, thus laying the foundations for the ongoing instability in that region. Still, until the day he died, Lawrence continued to fight for Arab nationalism, famously saying: "Better to let them do it imperfectly than do it perfectly yourself, for it is their country, their war, and your time is short." By weaving together a gripping narrative of Lawrence's Middle East adventures and highlighting his surprisingly astute political thinking, John Hulsman teases out this and many other lessons to be learned from Lawrence about the Arab world.
'Jargon-free, the book lucidly expounds the convoluted politics of the time and may be advantageously studied by would-be nation-builders in the Obama administration and elsewhere.' - TLS
JOHN C. HULSMAN is the Alfred von Oppenheim scholar in residence at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, Germany. He has written for such publications as the LA Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Newsweek, and has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and The Daily Show. He lives in Berlin, Germany.
I Like it Well, But it is Far From Damascus We Are Calling Them to Fight for Us On a Lie, and I Can't Stand it There is a Point Where Coddling Becomes Wicked My Dreams Puffed Out Like Candles, in the Strong Wind of Success The Old Men Came Out Again And Took Our Victory To Remake In The Likeness Of the Former World They Knew Suddenly I Awoke to Find Myself Famous There is a Dry Wind Blowing Through the East, and the Parched Grasses Await the Spark Another Such Victory and We Are Undone On a Hot Sunday Afternoon, I Created Transjordan The Edifice That Has Not Firm Foundations Make Not Lofty; and if Thou Dost, Tremble For it It is Impossible For a Foreigner to Run Another People of Their Own Free Will Indefinitely, and My Innings Has Been a Fairly Long One