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Desert Queen

Desert Queen by Janet Wallach is as timely as today's headlines. Gertrude Bell, the brains behind Lawrence of Arabia's brawn, left a wealthy Victorian life to explore, map, and excavate the Arab world on camel back. Recruited by British Intelligence during World War I, her maps and her friendship and understanding of key Arab leaders was crucial. After the war, she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East and was considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.