On Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., best-selling author Michael Korda returns to Darien Library to discuss his new biography of T.E. Lawerence, "Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia."

It's the story of an epic life on a grand scale, a revealing, in-depth and gripping biography of the dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile -- including his sun-burnished blonde hair and flowing white robes -- made him an object of intense fascination, known the world over as "Lawrence of Arabia." Yet unlike other biographers, Korda does not seek to burnish or destroy the legend; rather he aims to demystify and reveal the real man -- T. E. Lawrence -- as he truly was.

A diffident 5-foot-5-inch Oxford scholar and archeologist, Lawrence vanished into the desert in 1917 to become the greatest and most colorful figure of World War I. He was the inventor of modern guerilla warfare, the master of explosives, the world's first media celebrity, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and the boldest of warriors. Today some deem him the most influential military thinker of our times, as well as the man who virtually invented the Middle East as we know it. Had they been followed, his plans might have created a modern Arab state, a Jewish homeland and brought peace and prosperity to the Middle East.

Ultimately, as Korda demonstrates, Lawrence remains the paradigm of the hero in modern times, the arch-heroic type whose life was both a triumph and a sacrifice, and whose capacity to astonish remains undimmed.

Korda is the New York Times bestselling author of "Ike," "With Wings Like Eagles," "Horse People," "Country Matters," "Ulysses S. Grant," "Cat People" and "Journey to a Revolution."

A book signing will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be served.