T. E. Lawrence's classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom made the Arab revolt a legend and helped turn him into the mythical "Lawrence of Arabia." Setting the Desert on Fire is both a masterly account of the intrigue behind the revolt and its startling consequences for the present-day Middle East and a portrait of Lawrence that brings fresh insight to the true nature of the master mythmaker.
"Barr expertly navigates an intriguing landscape of shifting alliances and labyrinthine politics peopled with eccentric characters to demystify a fascinating legend." -- Publishers Weekly "[James] Barr has written a compact, scrupulously accurate chronicle of the revolt and Lawrence's role in it, utilizing previously unavailable archival material...An excellent general history of a widely misunderstood struggle that largely defined the shape of the modern Middle East." -- Booklist "A tightly-focused, fast-paced account...Mr. Barr's achievement is to tell Lawrence's story more clearly and objectively, helping to make sense of a complex war fought in an unfamiliar land and language." -- Adam Kirsch - New York Sun