Yardley looks at Lawrence both as a man and as a media creation. He portrays Lawrence as solitary youth, Oxford student, archaeologist, and fearless military leader and advocate of Arab interests in World War I. Exhausted by the war and disillusioned by Great Power intrigue, Lawrence turned his back on public life, created a new persona in the military ranks, and produced several much praised literary works that preserve his reputation. Yardley writes smoothly and crisply, validating Lawrence as a brave and dedicated soldier pursuing a futile cause, and a manipulative and neurotic misfit until his death in 1935. Yardley adds little to other recent, thorough studies (particulary John E. Mack's A Prince of Our Disorder , 1976), but he brings a balanced perspective to his subject.