Most treatments of Lawrence's life can be divided into debunkings and hagiographies. "Hero" by Michael Korda, as the title implies, is closer to the latter category. The author's admiration frequently comes in volleys: "physical courage, hardiness, cool judgment under fire," "an outstanding shot, physically tireless, generous, absolutely fearless, gentle in manner." Yet into this baggy but beguiling biography, Korda, the author of several works of history, has also crammed the darker incarnations of Lawrence, the shy depressive, the tortured ascetic, the "odd gnome, half cad — with a touch of genius," in the words of one of his companions behind Turkish lines.
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