Lawrence of Arabia by Alistair Maclean

December 12, 2010
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Are you looking for a great nonfiction book? Then you need to read Lawrence of Arabia by Alistair Maclean. His book is different from ay other nonfiction book. Instead of ranting information that goes on and on, MacLean creates an image that captivates the reader and sucks them into the book. I had to constantly remind myself that it was not a novel. This book gives lot of in depth information without taking the tone of a normal non-fiction book. I do think that the first chapter could use some work. It starts out slowly but immediately becomes interesting in the second chapter. But over all I think this book is a five star. Here is some of the information that is great for book reports and biography projects.

Thomas Edward Chapman was born in Tremadoc, North Wales in 1888. Even at a young age, Thomas had a fascination with Saudi Arabia. It inspired him to learn about medieval and crusade battle tactics. Thomas would go on long distance runs and bicycle rides, sometimes going fifty miles in one day. When his father left the Chapman family changed their last name to Lawrence.

Thomas preferred to be called Lawrence. He had mumps which may have contributed to his short height as a grown man. He was only 5 feet 5 inches when the average height at that was 5 feet 9 inches. He was also a vegetarian.

Lawrence hated school, but he was the top of his classes. Lawrence never had any friends in school because he was very unsocial. But when Lawrence did speak, it was usually very important. Later on in life he would become more sociable, and he would become very persuasive. It was often said that Lawrence could make anyone see the matter from his point of view.

During his youth and on a college study trip to Syria, he visited old churches and Crusader castles. His chose to become an archaeologist and graduated with top honors from Oxford University. For four years Lawrence worked in Carchemish at an excavation. During this time he learned about Arabia and loved everything about it.

When World War I broke out, Lawrence joined the British Military Intelligence Service and was assigned to Cairo. His knowledge of Arabic was important. He could interview Turkish prisoners and learn their Army locations to help the British aid the Arabs in their fight against the Turks.

Lawrence became so famous by the end of the war that he was forced to take extreme safety precautions. He reluctantly agreed to have an armored car, and he was given body guards. He had become so hated by the Turks that there were a few attempts to take his life. He continued to serve in the military first as an airman in the Royal Air Force. He also served as a private in the British Army. He was famous because of his deeds in Arabia, and he was continuously followed by the press. He changed his name to John Hume Rose and then Thomas Edward Shaw. Lawrence lived to see the freedom of Arabia and to help settle new countries. Lawrence liked to go fast. He liked to race boats with his friends and he traded his camels for two Rolls Royce cars that could do 60 miles per hour.

This is just some of the information that is hidden amongst the pages of this thrilling (never thought I‘d say that) nonfiction book. I hope you tae the time to read this book and I hope it motivates you to read more f his books.

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