Lawrence and Aaronsohn: T. E. Lawrence, Aaron Aaronsohn, and the Seeds of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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9780143113829: Lawrence and Aaronsohn: T. E. Lawrence, Aaron Aaronsohn, and the Seeds of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
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The rivalry that presaged the world's most tenacious conflict

As the Arab-Israeli conflict continues to plague the Middle East, historian Ronald Florence offers extraordinary new insights on its origins. This is the story of T. E. Lawrence, the young British officer who became famous around the world as Lawrence of Arabia, Aaron Aaronsohn, an agronomist from Palestine, and the antagonism that divided them over the fate of the dying Ottoman Empire during World War I--a clash of visions that set Arab nationalism and Zionism on a direct collision course that reverberates to this day.

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About the Author:

Ronald Florence was born in California, educated at Berkeley and Harvard, and taught at colleges and universities, ran a foundation, raced sailboats, and raised Cotswold sheep before turning to full-time writing. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and travels frequently to Europe and the Middle East to research his novels and narrative histories.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this dual biography of two key figures in Middle Eastern history, Florence (Blood Libel) grounds the clash of Arab and Jewish nationalisms in the Ottoman Empire's collapse during WWI. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) was a flamboyant British officer and romantic partisan of a mythologized Arab people, who cobbled together an anti-Turkish revolt out of fractious Bedouin clans. Aaron Aaronsohn, a Palestinian Jew and an agronomist who pioneered the Zionist effort to make the desert bloom, organized a spy ring to feed intelligence on Ottoman defenses in Palestine to the British. There's suspense and pathos in Florence's saga of the war-torn Middle East—Aaronsohn's sister, also a spy, was tortured by the Turks and committed suicide—along with eye-glazing diplomatic wrangling as Aaronsohn and Lawrence try to influence British policy toward conquered Ottoman lands. Florence's portraits of his protagonists color his account of the competing political claims. His depiction of Aaronsohn makes Zionism the more authentic nation-building project, deeply rooted in the careful stewardship of a soil watered with Zionist blood, while Arab nationalism comes off as largely a shallow, alien conceit imported by an eccentric Englishman to Bedouin more interested in booty than independence. (See alsoAaronsohn's Maps: The Untold Story of the Man Who Might Have Created Peace in the Middle East, reviewed on p. 44.) Photos. (Aug. 20)
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9780670063512: Lawrence and Aaronsohn: T. E. Lawrence, Aaron Aaronsohn, and the Seeds of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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ISBN 10: 0670063517 ISBN 13: 9780670063512
Publisher: Viking Adult, 2007
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