Seven Pillars of Wisdom
by T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) acted upon his dream 'with open eyes' and made it happen. In a book filled with deception he gives us a view into the world before the end of World War I changed everything. We see the various Arab factions and the deals made with the British. More importantly we are given insight into the men through Lawrence's eyes, his acute judgement, and his poetic narrative. He notes the keys to the Arab Revolt in the common language they shared and their heritage of the greatness that existed under the Caliphs going back to the six centuries following the death of Muhammad. We share in his pangs of conscience and his judgments of others and his own life and actions. He notes that "feeling and illusion were at war within me" and it reminds me of the birth of modernity with Faustian man. Also important are his comments on the British in the Middle East and the nature of the soldier in war. Ultimately I was moved and found support for my own subjunctive mood in this inspirational book.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph, T. E. Lawrence, Penguin Books, London. 1926.