Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

  • by Michael Korda
  • Narrated by Robin Sachs
  • 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Michael Korda's Hero is the story of an epic life on a grand scale: a revealing, in-depth, and gripping biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile - including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes - made him an object of intense fascination, still famous the world over as "Lawrence of Arabia".
An Oxford scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters' governess, Lawrence was sent to Cairo as a young intelligence officer in 1916. He vanished into the desert in 1917, only to emerge later as one of the greatest, and certainly most colorful, figures of World War One. Though a foreigner, he played a leading and courageous part in uniting the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks, and eventually capture Damascus, transforming himself into a world-famous hero, hailed as "the Uncrowned King of Arabia".
In illuminating Lawrence's achievements, Korda digs further than anyone before him to expose the flesh-and-blood man and his contradictory nature. And as Korda shows in his brilliantly readable and formidably authoritative biography, Lawrence was not only a man of his times; he was a visionary whose accomplishments - as a farsighted diplomat and kingmaker, military strategist of genius, perhaps the first modern "media celebrity" (and one of the first victims of it), and an acclaimed writer - transcended his era.
Korda examines Lawrence's vision for the modern Middle East - plans that, had they been carried through, might have prevented the hatred and bloodshed that have become ubiquitous in the region.
Ultimately, as this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains one of the most unique and fascinating figures of modern times, the arch-hero whose life is at once a triumph and a sacrifice and whose capacity to astonish still remains undimmed.

More

What the Critics Say

“Much has been written about him, but no one has succeeded in illuminating the quintessential Lawrence of Arabia so profoundly and so well as Michael Korda. Hero is a work of brilliance, discernment and meticulous scholarship that surely will be hailed as the gold standard.” (Henry A. Kissinger)
“This magisterial biography of British soldier and adventurer T.E. Lawrence celebrates a life spent subverting authority in the most glamorous - and bizarre - ways. Korda’s vivid portrait of Lawrence and his warring impulses captures the brilliance and charisma of this fascinating figure.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Comprehensive.... An accessible, textured story of one man who intimately knew the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” (Kirkus Reviews)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent book and narration

Lawrence was an enigma; at the height of his fame he retreated from the public eye. Korda captures the complexity without explaining it away. He presents Lawrence's life without simplifying it. The tone of the book is one of deep pathos and an ineluctable pitch towards disaster, but it's a lovely thing nonetheless.

I do wish we had had the option of an unabridged version.
Read full review

- Ron

An interesting man and an interesting story

This book is well written. Lawrence is known to most of us through the 1962 film about him, but hearing his story told is still quite interesting. He was certainly one man in ten thousand if not a million....multi-lingual, supremely confident, repulsed by killing but an expert in warfare who personally killed many men, a true friend to those whom he cared to be friends with, but a man who could not stand to be touched, even a handshake being repulsive to him. He accomplished what was considered impossible on the field of battle, and his British superiors betrayed him after the war by refusing to honor one of the goals Lawrence sought as a motivator for his actions: Arab autonomy in the Middle East.

His style of warfare has been copied by Mao Tse-dung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, and the enemy the US faces today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The narrator does a very good job of interpreting this fine, suspenseful book.
Read full review

- Doug "Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-16-2010
  • Publisher: HarperAudio