By Arnel P. David
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." — T.E. Lawrence
The man we know as “Lawrence of Arabia” has been studied the world over. T. E. Lawrence is an enigmatic figure, who draws enormous curiosity. Yet, like other iconoclasts from the past, there is a tendency to invoke his ideas inappropriately, disconnecting them from their original context and using them to support (not so) new buzzwordy concepts. A long-dead Prussian is constantly turning in his grave for this continued injustice. Lawrence shares some of this pain today, as the US resurrects his ideas to counter insurgencies and advise indigenous forces, using his ’27 Articles’ as dogmatic gospel rather than a guide for critical thinking.
In Lawrence of Arabia On War, Dr. Rob Johnson diligently sets the record straight. He provides an innovative study on T.E. Lawrence and his thinking, on and off the battlefield. Using scrupulous research, Dr. Johnson provides an honest assessment, and highlights the good and bad with T.E. Lawrence. Throughout the book, he demonstrates that Lawrence’s thinking on war remains instructive for present-day challenges.
“…with 2,000 years of examples behind us we have no excuse when fighting, for not fighting well.”