Lawrence of Arabia's War The Arabs, the British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI Neil Faulkner

Publication date:
04 Apr 2017
Yale University Press
552 pages: 227 x 144mm
55 b-w illus. + maps
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A wealth of new research and thinking on Lawrence, the Arab Revolt, and World War One in the Middle East, providing essential background to today’s violent conflicts

Rarely is a book published that revises our understanding of an entire world region and the history that has defined it. This groundbreaking volume makes just such a contribution. Neil Faulkner draws on ten years of field research to offer the first truly multidisciplinary history of the conflicts that raged in Sinai, Arabia, Palestine, and Syria during the First World War.
In Lawrence of Arabia’s War, the author rewrites the history of T. E. Lawrence’s legendary military campaigns in the context of the Arab Revolt. He explores the intersections among the declining Ottoman Empire, the Bedouin tribes, nascent Arab nationalism, and Western imperial ambition. The book provides a new analysis of Ottoman resilience in the face of modern industrialized warfare, and it assesses the relative weight of conventional operations in Palestine and irregular warfare in Syria. Faulkner thus reassesses the historic roots of today’s divided, fractious, war-torn Middle East.

Neil Faulkner is a freelance academic archaeologist and historian and editor of Military History Monthly. A research fellow at the University of Bristol, he codirected the Great Arab Revolt Project in Jordan (2006–14). He lives in Herts, UK.

"A rich and highly readable interdisciplinary study that draws together the Great Arab Revolt and the Palestine campaigns into a larger whole."—Justin Marozzi, Spectator

"Neil Faulkner’s book is caustic, richly detailed and provocative . . . he skewers his main subject exactly."—James Barr, BBC History

"Neil Faulkner goes beyond psychohistory and places Lawrence’s endeavour in a wider political and cultural context. He gives the best short account I’ve read of Gallipoli: dramatic, vivid but still subtly inflected; and he explains the strategic battle in London between military Westerners and political Easterners."—Brian Morton, Glasgow Herald

"The book expertly describes the politics that led to these wartime alliances . . . really comes into its own with the detailed accounts of the military forces the strategic and tactical considerations of the combatants, the alliances and each of the battles in the region. . . . This is a book that brings a seminal period of history to life and is worthy of study by all who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the background to its current political impasse."—Dr. Stephen Leah, Methodist Recorder

"A landmark in archaeological study of modern conflicts. . . . This is an attractive and very readable book with a worrying degree of relevance in the contemporary world."—Gabriel Barkay, Archaeology Today

"Though closely interlinked, the Great Arab Revolt and the Palestine campaigns are generally studied separately. Neil Faulkner?'s eminently readable account treats them in parallel, opening up a much wider context for Lawrence?'s Seven Pillars."—Jeremy Wilson, author of Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorised Biography

"A lively history of the Arab Revolt that sheds important new light on Lawrence’s Seven Pillars as a reliable source. Essential reading."—Eugene Rogan, author of The Arabs: A History