Ronald Florence

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Lawrence and Aaronsohn

Florence does a superb job of contrasting these two fascinating characters. The flamboyant, romantic Lawrence who was so attracted by the free life of tribal randomness seems the polar opposite of the methodical, scientific Aaronsohn who was so dedicated to the creation of a Jewish homeland. In crafting complex and absorbing portraits of his two protagonists, Florence has produced a singular and important book that does much to illuminate the roots of today’s debate over borders and birthrights in the troubled Middle East.
The Providence Journal

... literary grace ... compelling narrative, threaded throughout with suspense, drama, heart-stopping history and historic personages, all re-created with skill and passion.
Hadassah Magazine

Florence's well-written and frequently surprising work sheds light on usually neglected aspects of Middle Eastern history.

Some books are called histories, but they are really spy novels in disguise. That is the case with Lawrence and Aaronsohn, a well documented and readable work ... superb work.
Jewish Book World

There are so many fascinating stories in Lawrence and Aaronsohn, and Ronald Florence has done marvelous work ... Lawrence and Aaronsohn, their times and places, positively come alive. ... masterful ... history as drama, and it makes for compelling reading.
Chicago Jewish Star

... gripping narrative captures so many facets of this history that suspense remains high even though we know the outcome.
Reform Judaism Magazine

… reasonable, readable history …
—Benny Morris, in Haaretz

There's suspense and pathos in Florence's saga of the war-torn Middle East …
— Publisher's Weekly

It would be hard for a playwright to juxtapose two characters more out of tune with each other and with the world they inhabited than T.E. Lawrence and Aaron Aaronsohn. Yet Ronald Florence engagingly shows how Aaronsohn worked in an odd sort of tandem with Lawrence, spokesman for the Arab tribes. The unpredictable Lawrence and the often obnoxious Aaronsohn may not have been regarded as good company by their contemporaries, but in this dual biography they are as fascinating as their turbulent times.
—Brian Garfield, author of Hopscotch, Death
and The Meinerzhagen Mystery.

Two colleagues in British intelligence had conflicting obsessions that presaged the Arab-Israeli conflict … Historian and novelist Florence tells their story well.
—Harvard Magazine

If Steven Spielberg is shopping for a new story to tell as an epic movie, here it is.
—Jewish Voice & Herald

Selected Works

... eminently readable history ... both an adventure yarn and a profound tragedy made up of hope, suspicion, fear, and confusion; all this against the background of the deportation trains leaving daily for Auschwitz.
—István Deák, The New Republic
Florence chronicles the birth of the modern Middle East by narrating the intersecting lives of two remarkable men.… skillfully blends geopolitical history and cloak-and-dagger tales ...
The New Yorker
... reads like a first rate murder mystery thriller. But it is not a thriller. It is an account of a disastrous accusation against an entire community. Nor is it only history. Tragically, today the same horrible accusations— long thought to be buried— are once again being voiced. All this makes Blood Libel a book of contemporary significance.
—Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denying the Holocaust
… a perfect job of science writing for the general public. Over to you, Pulitzer Prize Committee …
—Arthur C. Clarke
Florence's inventiveness sounds a magical voice that makes the pages of Jewish history breathe and sing.

Jewish Voice & Herald

Only when you read two or three new books a week for five or six years do you realize how truly rare a novel like this is.…
—Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times