Meet the Mild-Mannered Spy Who Made Himself The ‘American James Bond’
The legend of Lawrence of Arabia was concocted single-handedly by the American impresario Lowell Thomas, who in 1919 premiered a lecture and slide show on Col. T.E. Lawrence’s exploits that played to packed houses in New York and London and beyond. The legend of Edward Lansdale — the former ad man-turned-CIA officer who became known as the “American James Bond” and the “T.E. Lawrence of Asia” — had more authors, but perhaps the most important (and inadvertent) was the eminent English writer Graham Greene.