This is a biography of Ned Lawrence's early years. His boyhood, his stint in the army, his college days are covered along with his trips to France and Syria, highlighted by a cloak-and-dagger capture and release by desert marauders. His sharp mind, his ability to absorb languages and his developed interest in archaeology come through. But there is only a glimpse in the last chapter of his real achievements, his work as a spy for the British, his life in Arabia. Perhaps for those enthusiasts who are familiar with this man's later life, this picture of his boyhood days would shed light on future accomplishments. But for American teenagers, this is dull reading, not here recommended.