Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Bio and setting: the life of TE Lawrence
Lawrence escaped his problems through scholarship and exercise. He became a student historian, specializing in the castles built during the Crusades. He learned French and the very difficult Arabic language.
Bicycling for hours, doing pushups and depriving himself of food and sleep were ways in which he endeavored to increase his endurance and strength.
He was also a talented writer and his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom is still read some 70 years after his death. In fact, I'll read some of it to you in class.
"Lawrence of Arabia" is an award-winning, classic film. One of its outstanding points is the vivid footage of the Arabian desert.
World War I, 1914 - 1918, is when Lawrence won his fame.
WWI marked the opening of the modern era (examples):
* chemical warfare ("mustard gas")
* modern machine gun
* armored tanks
* England & France & allies Vs. Germany (whose allies included Turkey)
* In the Mid East, England controlled Egypt and Turkey was Germany's ally. The Turks controlled Arabia and most of the Mid East.
* The US entered the war in 1917. The isolationist spirit of America kept us out of the war for 3 years.
That the events of WWI as described in Lawrence of Arabia were part of the misunderstandings and frustrations that led to the founding of Arab-based, Muslim extremist groups such as al qaeda and led to the destruction of the WTC on 9-11, 2001.