Scott Anderson

Lawrence in Arabia


Put them in fear, o Lord,
that the nations may know
themselves to be but men.
Psalm 9
This is a great book of history and biography of not only T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, but of other similarly adventurous fellows of different nationalities, all very different but all great men, even in their weaknesses and failures: An American, William Yale; a German, Curt Prüfer; and a Zionist Jew, Aaron Aaronsohn. The author preferred to focus on the four men's roles in the big Middle Eastern picture: I World War, the revolt of the Arabs and their fight for independence from the Ottomans. And he certainly chose well: never loosing sight of these three huge personalities, their human motivations and characters, the author sets up against them the historical narrative, from before the Great War till the end of their roles in Palestine. Finally, in the epilogue, we see how their lives were changed after the war. The epilogue is not to be missed. A beautiful summary and marriage of history and biography.

If history is important, as well as fascinating, it is because of great men like Lawrence, Yale and Aaronsohn. Each one fighting for his own ideals, whether in the military (Lawrence) in business (Yale), diplomacy (Prüfer) or in politics (Aaronsohn), they jumped on the train of history while on the move and then tried to drive it. And drive they did, but its course was already set; they could not alter it.

This book serves to remind us that great men and women are anonymous citizens until provided with the right historical circumstances. But once they have attained their heroic status, eventually, history will swallow them up. A humbling reminder worthy of Ecclesiastes.

"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.

Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos




Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.


También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel


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