Insight with Scott Anderson: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Talk Tuesday 25 March 2014, 7:00 PM

In early 1914, T.E. Lawrence was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was battling both the Turks’ and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people. As one of Britain’s most romantic historical figures his story is well known, but to what extent do we know the truth of how his actions shaped the region?

In his new book Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, veteran correspondent Scott Anderson cuts through the legend to offer a reassessment of his story and the secret colonialist plots in which he was involved.

Anderson will be joining us in conversation with journalist and author Christopher de Bellaigue, to share his retelling of Lawrence of Arabia, reflecting on the actions of the past and how they continue to shape the region and its future. Are the lines that were drawn at the end of World War One, forming the modern Middle East, now starting to shift?

Scott Anderson is a veteran correspondent who has reported from Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Sudan, Bosnia, El Salvador and many other war-torn countries. He is the author of two novels, Moonlight Hotel and Triage, two non-fiction books, The Man Who Tried to Save the World and The 4 O’Clock Murders, and co-author of War Zones and Inside the League with his brother Jon Lee Anderson.

Scott Anderson interviewed by his brother and staff writer at The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson.