Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
To Begin the World Over Again

To Begin the World Over Again

Lawrence of Arabia from Damascus to Baghdad

John C. Hulsman

St. Martin's Press

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Lawrence of Arabia is best remembered for the Oscar-winning film about his life. But there is a different T.E. Lawrence, a man who applied his unique experiences and extensive knowledge of the Arab world to a political vision for nation building in the Middle East that holds many lessons for today. Following the Arab Revolt, Lawrence embarked on a heroic effort, harnessing his celebrity to force the British to keep the promises made to their Arab allies. Alas, he was unable to stop the Western powers from carving up the Middle East at Versailles, thus laying the foundations for the ongoing instability in that region. Still, until the day he died, Lawrence continued to fight for Arab nationalism, famously saying: "Better to let them do it imperfectly than do it perfectly yourself, for it is their country, their war, and your time is short." By weaving together a gripping narrative of Lawrence's Middle East adventures and highlighting his surprisingly astute political thinking, John Hulsman teases out this and many other lessons to be learned from Lawrence about the Arab world.

Reviews

Praise for To Begin the World Over Again

“The fate of empires seems inevitably linked to their persistent desire to impose their cultures and systems on foreign soil. Employing the endlessly fascinating story of T.E. Lawrence, John Hulsman colorfully argues from history that, if you set out to liberate other nations, it is best not to undertake to liberate them from themselves. If we learn his lesson, our Baghdad will not become Lawrence's Damascus.” —Senator Gary Hart

“In To Begin the World Over Again, John Hulsman tells us that 'in reality Lawrence was far more important as a thinker' than a warrior-prince. If our purpose is to discover a better nation-building strategy, Hulsman is correct, for as a thinker T.E. Lawrence offers us just that. President Obama, General David Petraeus, and a host of other western leaders would do well to study that strategy. And concerned Americans, as well as others, would do well to read this book.” —Lawrence Wilkerson, Visiting Professor of Government, the College of William and Mary and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

“Hulsman at once tells a compelling story and identifies foundational principles for guiding U.S. foreign policy. By mining Lawrence's thinking and experiences, this timely book yields vital lessons for America's efforts at nation-building in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond.” —Charles A. Kupchan, Professor of Government, Georgetown University and member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

John C. Hulsman

John C. Hulsman is the Alfred von Oppenheim scholar in residence at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. He has written for such publications as the LA Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Newsweek, and has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and The Daily Show. He lives in Berlin.

John C. Hulsman

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St. Martin's Press

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