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Paperback Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph Book

ISBN: 0385418957

ISBN13: 9780385418959

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

(Part of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph Series)

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Book Overview

Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The riveting autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence, while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Had an original copy, which disappeared.

The original book was for friends of Lawrence. I had an original 1927 public edition. I guess someone else wanted to read it because my bookshelf had an empty spot. Several other first editions were also missing. Great to get a good edition of the book. Thank you for having very good and interesting books and movies.

Outstanding nothing like a classic.

There is true wisdom in Lawrence’s writings.

Heavy going but fascinating

A very heavy-going, but fascinating read by a legendary character. I'm no history buff but this book is not just a simple "history book" either. This book contains his entire life during his involvement in the Arabic conflict. It's as if you were living those times through his eyes. His writing can be confusing, but persevere and you will be rewarded.

timeless classic of guerrilla warfare

One sees through Lawrence's eyes the failure of standard military doctrine and the success of classic guerilla doctrine. The pinnacle of the book arrives as he lays in his tent, pondering the aims of the Arab rebellion. Insights then flow which remind one very much of Sun Tzu's "formlessness" and "substance/vacuity" principles in the Art of War. I guess every generation has to learn the basic truths itself, and our recent experience in this part of the world has driven home the timeless truths that Lawrence so eloquently elucidated. Read this one.

A view of warfare from a bygone era

I will echo the sentiments of previous reviewers in extolling the remarkable style of Seven Pillars...the detailed descriptions of the desert and the bedu bring the reader right into the book. I was taken aback by the distinct differences between the book and the movie, even with having a good working knowledge of this era. For those who only know Lawrence from the movie, please read this book to get a more balanced perspective of Lawrence, and his role in the Arab Revolt. What is not commonly known is that Lawrence did have his detractors, who also published their versions of the Revolt. Of note, Maj N.N.E Bray wrote "A Paladin of Arabia" about Leachman, who Bray believes Lawrence attempted to emulate; and also "Shifting Sands". By having read all 3 books, it might level the playing field, and ascertain some ground truth about a truly remarkable facet of WWI. THis book is a must for WWI history buffs, and also for those who are interested in the emergence of the ARab Nationalist movement, and the origins of how the Middle East came to be what we know of it today. 5 Stars, an amazing read.

War as epic poetry

This book stands alone in the history of military memoirs. The book as a literary achievement and the subject of the book as a personal achievement are both unparalleled. What Lawrence did in WWI - unite the Arab tribes in a common fight against the Turks - was remarkable not only because no one thought it could be done but also because it was done by a man with no power or influence beyond what he could inspire by his own presense. Lawrence, a scholar before the war working as a mapmaker for the British army, was about as far removed from anyone's ideas of a military hero as could be. He nevertheless did the impossible and that story, no matter who tells it, is as fascinating as any that ever came out of warfare. Equally fascinating is the book itself. A blend of truth and evasion, the book is told in a beautiful lazy style that suggests it had been thought out with the vast Arabian desert and ancient way of life in mind. It is helpful to have read another account of Lawrence's life, just to be sure of what is happening when he chooses to be vague, but the beauty of the writing and the insight of the keen intelligence from which it springs, is a great delight to experience.Even more amazing is to realize that after this monumental book was completed, Lawrence left the complete manuscript - the only copy - on the London subway and had to recreate it from scratch using just his notes. This is a remarkable testiment to both his focus when he needed it, and his tendency to be frequently apart from the real world. A remarkable man. A remarkable book. Unique and worthy to be read and enjoyed.


As a student of history, the Middle East has always held a special place in my heart. As Lawrence himself says, the Oriental mind seeks ideals, nevermind the impracticalties involved. Western thinking, especially today, will take the comfortable path every time. If it is expedient,involves profit or feels good to the senses, the West will BUY it. Lawrence tried to show us that the Arab nomads ( not necessarily the townspeople ), grasp a vision and pay no attention to how much pain and suffering may be involved. The idea must be lived-out. I felt that the chapter dealing with King Fiesel's camp life was the finest of any book of the recent past. One could appreciate the King's burden and almost smell the cooking and hear the hustle and bustle in the war tent. Those who do not fully appreciate this wonderful gift to us would do well to unplug all electronic devices in their life for a few months and fast a few days a week. Then, take a few long walks and read the book again before your blisters heal and before sittng- down to large meals. Finally, imagine that you are living under the oppression of a distant power, as your parents and their parents have been. You will only then begin to come to love The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the author, as I do.
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