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Even as Muslim Arabs are realizing the grievous mistake of some of their grandfathers in helping divide the Middle East into almost 40 countries, some historians and publishers are pushing their agenda of immortalizing an illegitimate son in a new book The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, Michael Korda.

By BEN MACINTYRE
Published: December 24, 2010 – NYTimes.com

Lowell Thomas, the pioneering American journalist and filmmaker, was buying dates on a Jerusalem street soon after the holy city had been wrested from Turkish control by British forces in 1917, when he spotted a group of Arabs, led by a most remarkable figure. “A single Bedouin who stood out in sharp relief from his companions; . . . in his belt was fastened the short curved sword of a prince of Mecca, . . . marking him every inch a king. . . . This young man was blond as a Scandinavian. . . . His expression was serene, almost saintly, in its selflessness and repose.”

The robed figure was T. E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, Laurens Bey to his Arab comrades in arms, the “Uncrowned King of Arabia” according to his boosters. And if Thomas’s description seems sensationalist, that is hardly surprising, for the American did more than any other single person to turn Lawrence into a glittering multimedia global celebrity, a fable, a saint and a myth.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/books/review/Macintyre-t.html?ref=world