We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty… T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom


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To begin the world over again : Lawrence of Arabia from Damascus to Baghdad John C. Hulsman New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. 256 p. : maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Lawrence of Arabia is best remembered as 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.

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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.”

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By weaving together a gripping narrative of Lawrence’s Middle East adventures and highlighting his surprisingly astute political thinking, John Hulsman examines this and many other lessons to be learned from Lawrence about the Arab world.

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