When this Pulitzer Prize–winning biography first appeared in 1976, it rescued T.E. Lawrence from the mythologizing that had seemed to be his fate. In it, John Mack humanely and objectively explores the relationship between Lawrence’s inner life and his historically significant actions.
Extensive interviews, far-flung correspondence, access to War Office dispatches and unpublished letters provide the basis for Mack’s sensitive investigation of the psychiatric dimensions of Lawrence’s personality. In addition, Mack examines the pertinent history, politics, and sociology of the time in order to weigh the real forces with which Lawrence contended and which impinged upon him.
A hugely admired, and Pulitzer Prize–winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence’s inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can ‘explain’ his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence’s actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence’s psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject.
A great book which honors its subject, its form, and its author.
Takes us closer to the core of Lawrence than any previous biography.
We are not likely to get as thorough and judicious a biography of T. E. Lawrence for some time.
Mack’s handling of this information is a model of sensitive psychoanalytical expertise.
Unlike many ‘psycho-biographies,’ this was written by a trained psychologist who had also done his biographer’s homework: it remains the best biography of T. E. Lawrence.
- 624 pages
- 5 x 7-3/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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