This chapter describes the cultural legacy of the Middle Eastern campaigns. It argues that they offered the hope of some continuity with the past, undercutting the sense of total rupture produced by the Western front. They offered a vision of a glamorous, biblical, Arabian‐Nights theater in which the old, adventurous, mobile sort of warfare still worked. The Kut disaster of the Mesopotamia campaign produced a redemptive vision of empire as a tool of colonial development. This helped package the new Middle East empire as a selfless endeavor in the increasingly anti‐imperialist postwar world. Central in the romantic image of these campaigns were the heroic figures that participated in them, including Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, and others, who acquired positions of enormous political and cultural influence after the war. Their celebrity was a product of an increasingly democratic public sphere fascinated with Arabia and struggling with changing notions of Englishness.
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