Reclaiming T. E. Lawrence from hype and legend, James J. Schneider bargains a startling reexamination of this leader’s serious function in shaping the trendy center East. simply how did this vague British junior intelligence officer, unschooled within the paintings of conflict, develop 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 to boot, as a brand new iteration of revolutionaries pulls pages from Lawrence’s playbook of abnormal warfare.
Blowing up trains and harassing provide strains with dynamite and audacity, Lawrence drove the powerful armies of the Ottoman Turks to distraction and taken the Arabs to the edge of self-determination. yet his good fortune hinged on greater than simply leading edge strategies: As he immersed himself in Arab tradition, Lawrence realized conventional Western-style hierarchical command constitution couldn't paintings in a tribal procedure the place warriors lead not just a military yet a whole group. Weaving quotations from Lawrence’s personal writings with the histories of his maximum campaigns, Schneider indicates how this stranger in a wierd land developed through the years into the version of the self-reflective, permitting chief who eschews glory for himself yet as a substitute seeks to empower his fans. Guerrilla Leader additionally bargains a beneficial research of Lawrence’s leading edge theories of insurgency and their relevance to the continued turmoil within the center East.
This exhaustively researched booklet additionally offers a close account of the Arab rebellion, from the beautiful 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 rebellion. 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 rigidity affliction that might bedevil him for the remainder of his life. the writer then contains 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 matters of the trendy era.
Foreward via Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks