"Lawrence of Arabia" began World War I as a map clerk and ended it as one of the great figures of the war. He altered the face of the Middle East, and almost single-handedly formulated many of the precepts of modern guerrilla warfare. Yet he refused any honors for his achievements and spent much of the rest of his life in the ranks of the army and the Royal Air Force, in near obscurity. Lawrence deliberately turned his life into a conundrum and set out to mystify those who came after him-beginning with his own account of the Arab Revolt, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, in 1926- thereby assuring his place as a mythical cult-figure for posterity. He saw himself as an intellectual rather than a soldier, and a wanderer after sensations rather than a man of action. He wore an endless series of masks. But who was the real man behind these disguises? Desert explorer and Arab scholar Michael Asher set out to solve this riddle of appearances. Retracing many of Lawrence's desert journeys, he gained startling new insights into his character. The result is a biography that captures the elusive man behind the myth.