The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia
The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia

Release Date

Dec 31, 1969

1969

The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia

Documentary | History

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Synopsis

In the First World War, T.E Lawrence helped to unite feuding Arab tribes into a formidable guerrilla army which helped to topple the Ottoman Empire. But today Lawrence has an extraordinary new relevance. His experiences of defeating a foreign military occupation, and of leading an insurgency, have led to him being held up as the man who cracked fighting in the Middle East. Lawrence had aimed, he said, ‘to write his will across the skies’ and build a new independent Arab nation, but in these two films Rory Stewart shows how Lawrence felt his dream ended in catastrophe and shame. Drawing a comparison between Lawrence's experience and today, Rory explains how Lawrence came to the conclusion that foreign military interventions in the Middle East are fundamentally unworkable. He concludes, 'Looking at Iraq and Afghanistan today, I believe very strongly that Lawrence's message would not have been do it better, do it more sensitively, but don't do it at all.'.

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