Reclaiming T. E. Lawrence from hype and legend, James J. Schneider bargains a startling reexamination of this leader’s serious position in shaping the trendy heart East. simply how did this imprecise British junior intelligence officer, unschooled within the paintings of struggle, turn into “Lawrence of Arabia” and encourage a loosely affiliated cluster of desolate tract tribes to band jointly in an all-or-nothing insurgency opposed to their Turkish overlords? The solutions have profound implications for our time besides, as a brand new iteration of revolutionaries pulls pages from Lawrence’s playbook of abnormal warfare.
Blowing up trains and harassing offer traces with dynamite and audacity, Lawrence drove the robust armies of the Ottoman Turks to distraction and taken the Arabs to the threshold of self-determination. yet his luck hinged on greater than simply cutting edge strategies: As he immersed himself in Arab tradition, Lawrence discovered conventional Western-style hierarchical command constitution couldn't paintings in a tribal approach the place warriors lead not just a military yet a whole neighborhood. Weaving quotations from Lawrence’s personal writings with the histories of his maximum campaigns, Schneider indicates how this stranger in a wierd land advanced through the years into the version of the self-reflective, permitting chief who eschews glory for himself yet in its place seeks to empower his fans. Guerrilla Leader additionally deals a important research of Lawrence’s leading edge theories of insurgency and their relevance to the continuing turmoil within the heart East.
This exhaustively researched e-book additionally presents an in depth account of the Arab rebellion, from the lovely attack at the port urban of Aqaba to the bloody, Pyrrhic victory at Tafileh, the single set-piece conflict Lawrence fought through the nice Arab insurrection. Lawrence emerged from the latter event bodily and mentally tired, incapable of constant as an army commander, and, Schneider asserts, within the early levels of the post-traumatic tension affliction that may bedevil him for the remainder of his life. the writer then includes the narrative ahead to the ultimate slaughter of the Turks at Tafas and the Arabs’ final victory at Damascus.
With insights into Lawrence’s perspectives on self-discipline, his worry of failure, and his enduring impression on army management within the twenty-first century, Guerrilla Leader is a bracingly clean tackle one of many nice topics of the trendy era.
Foreward through Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks