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Exodus is an international publishing phenomenon--the towering novel of the twentieth century's most dramatic geopolitical event. Leon Uris magnificently portrays the birth of a new nation in the midst of enemies--the beginning of an earthshaking struggle for power. Here is the tale that swept the world with its fury: the story of an American nurse, an Israeli freedom fighter caught up in a glorious, heartbreaking, triumphant era.

608 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 1958

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About the author

Leon Uris

103 books1,202 followers
Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976.

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Jewish-American parents Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish-born immigrant, was a paperhanger, then a storekeeper. William spent a year in Palestine after World War I before entering the United States. He derived his surname from Yerushalmi, meaning "man of Jerusalem." (His brother Aron, Leon Uris' uncle, took the name Yerushalmi) "He was basically a failure," Uris later said of his father. "He went from failure to failure."

Uris attended schools in Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, but never graduated from high school, after having failed English three times. At age seventeen, while in his senior year of high school, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Uris enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific as a radioman (in combat) at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and New Zealand from 1942 through 1945. While recuperating from malaria in San Francisco, he met Betty Beck, a Marine sergeant; they married in 1945.

Coming out of the service, he worked for a newspaper, writing in his spare time. In 1950, Esquire magazine bought an article, and he began to devote himself to writing more seriously. Drawing on his experiences in Guadalcanal and Tarawa he produced the best-selling, Battle Cry, a novel depicting the toughness and courage of U.S. Marines in the Pacific. He then went to Warner Brothers in Hollywood helping to write the movie, which was extremely popular with the public, if not the critics. Later he went on to write The Angry Hills, a novel set in war-time Greece.

According to one source, in the early 1950's he was hired by an American public relations firm to go to Israel and "soak up the atmosphere and create a novel about it". That novel would be Exodus, which came out in 1958 and became his best known work. Others say that Uris, motivated by an intense interest in Israel, financed his own research for the novel by selling the film rights in advance to MGM and writing articles about the Sinai campaign. It is said that the book involved two years of research, and involved thousands of interviews. Exodus illustrated the history of Palestine from the late 19th century through the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. It was a worldwide best-seller, translated into a dozen languages, and was made into a feature film in 1960, starring Paul Newman, directed by Otto Preminger, as well as into a short-lived Broadway musical (12 previews, 19 performances) in 1971. Uris' novel Topaz was adapted for the screen and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Uris' subsequent works included: Mila 18, a story of the Warsaw ghetto uprising; Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, which reveals the detailed work by British and American intelligence services in planning for the occupation and pacification of post WWII Germany; Trinity, an epic novel about Ireland's struggle for independence; QB VII, a novel about the role of a Polish doctor in a German concentration camp ; and The Haj, with insights into the history of the Middle East and the secret machinations of foreigners which have led to today's turmoil.

He also wrote the screenplays for Battle Cry and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Uris was married three times: to Betty Beck, with whom he had three children, from 1945 through their divorce in 1968; Margery Edwards in 1969, who died a year later, and Jill Peabody in 1970, with whom he had two children, and divorced in 1989.

Leon Uris died of renal failure at his Long Island home on Shelter Island, aged 78.

Leon Uris's papers can be found at the Ransom Center, University of Texas in Austin. The collection includes all of Uris's novels, with the exception of The Haj and Mitla Pass, as well as manus

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,032 reviews
Profile Image for KC.
9 reviews2 followers
May 27, 2008
This book is useful for learning the romantic Zionist version of events surrounding 1948, but contrary to several of the reviews here, it is NOT a reliable historical source or one I would recommend for those interested in seriously learning about the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Describing this book as an accurate historical account from which to draw important information about the conflict is akin to promoting Gone With the Wind as a complete guide to the American Civil War. Uris facilitates prejudice against Arabs in his work and perpetuates a number of myths now dispelled by state-released documents. True, there are historical facts, but the rendering in Exodus is only half the story, and a largely unrealistic half at that. I read this book before I knew very much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the history of 1948 and its immediate preceding years. I enjoyed it a lot more before I learned about what really happened during the 1948 war--and then I was more disturbed by the book's negligence of even the most basic and formative facts. I certainly liked many parts of the story--I enjoyed the parts about the Hasidic Jews (the creation of this sect of Judaism interested me a lot), the pogroms, and the Jewish refugees in Cyprus. However, it is greatly disconcerting that Uris makes a point to say in the book that all of the Palestinians left of their own accord, a statement which only helps to perpetuate a very destructive myth surrounding this conflict, amongst MANY others evident in the book. Granted, he wrote it before Israel released several secret documents in the '80s from which today's accepted historical narrative has been drawn, and it IS a work of fiction, but works of fiction shouldn't gloss over uncomfortable historical facts, or attempt to justify or alleviate the injustice of the creation and dispossession of an entire refugee population. If you're looking for a romantic adventure story, then you will probably like it. However, if you are interested in a piece of work that seriously discusses the 1948 war I recommend Benny Morris' Righteous Victims and The Birth of the Refugee Problem Revisited as well as works by Shlomo Ben-Ami and James Gelvin just to name a few.
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,255 reviews2,299 followers
March 17, 2015
Even though I was caught up in the book when I first read it, I had to leave it halfway through... and when I went back to it some years later, after learning more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (not the American-Israeli fiction, but real history), I felt I couldn't read it, it was so nauseating. Now I work in the Middle East, and see the conflict more close at hand. I could talk with many displaced Palestinians, and hear their side of the story. And the aversion to the book has increased.

The story of "Exodus" could be summarised in one sentence: "Brave godlike Jews defeat cowardly, evil Arabs and build the beautiful country of Israel."


Edit to add:

For those who want to comment on this review; a suggestion - no need to reiterate that this review represents my prejudice, because it does. I have also clearly mentioned in my profile where my sympathies lie in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

You are free to comment of course, and I will not delete any comment - just do not expect an answer in case you do not have anything new to say.
33 reviews26 followers
March 7, 2008

Among the top five books I have ever read, and also one of the most important.

A poignant and beautifully-told story that shares a painful struggle in Jewish history - one of the many that goes untalked about in modern history classes. This book should be mandatory reading in all highschools. Although it is a novel, it is completely framed in historical facts (I know because the stuff I read was so unbelievable, I had to look it up for myself to see if it was true - I even found publically-available UN documents and British-Mandate-period testimonies that verified the governmental meetings and other events Uris mentions).

This is one of the few books in my life that made me cry almost every time I picked it up...to the point that after awhile, I just learned to grab the tissue box whenever I would pick up the book. It is heart-breaking to read what a hard time the Jewish people had. Even though Israel only takes up 1/10 of 1% of the land in the M.E., at least they finally have a nation of their own again, after centuries of persecution and slaughter that made the Jewish population there dwindle to almost nothing.

The Jews painstakingly found their way back (well the Holocaust kind of left little choice since they had already been kicked out of so many countries) and some surviors who lost everything literally WALKED to Palestine from countries like Russia and Poland. And just like they always have, the Jewish people used their strength of mind and spirit to keep going, and once again made Israel into the beautiful nation it once was. They built it back up from almost nothing with (literally) their own blood, sweat and tears.

This story of perseverance, hope, and what could almost be deemed a miracle is so moving and so inspiring you will feel like cheering at the end. Truly cathartic.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
February 13, 2018
5+1/ Hay libros que, sencillamente, se apoderan de nuestra alma hasta el último segundo. Libros que parecen tejidos para arrancarnos de la comodidad en la que vivimos y abrirnos los ojos. Libros, en fin, que nos hacen vibrar y sufrir a partes iguales. Pues bien, Éxodo es uno de esos libros; o, por lo menos lo es para mí. Y como tal, no puedo ponerle solo cinco estrellas, no es una historia de cinco estrellas, por eso le doy esa estrella de más.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews32 followers
March 14, 2021
Exodus, Leon Uris

Exodus is a historical novel by American novelist Leon Uris about the founding of the State of Israel beginning with a compressed retelling of the voyages of the 1947 immigration ship Exodus and describing the histories of the various main characters and the ties of their personal lives to the birth of the new Jewish state.

In 1946 American foreign correspondent Mark Parker and American nurse Kitty Fremont reunite as old friends. Kitty is an American volunteer at the Karaolos internment camp on Cyprus, where thousands of Jews—Holocaust survivors—are being held by the British, who will not let them go to Palestine. Separately, another pair of friends, Jewish fighters Ari Ben Canaan and David Ben Ami, also reunite.

Ari obtains a cargo ship, which became the SS Exodus, with the intention to smuggle 302 Jewish children out of the camp for an illegal voyage to Mandate Palestine before being discovered by military authorities.

When the British learn the refugees are in a ship in the harbor of Famagusta, they blockade the harbor and prevent it from sailing.

The refugees stage a hunger strike, during which the camp's doctor dies. Ari has wired the ship with explosives and threatens to blow up the ship and the refugees if the British try to board.

When the British attempt to gain time by trying to negotiate, Ari announces that every day 10 children will commit suicide on deck for the world to see. The British relent and allow the Exodus safe passage. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هفتم ماه سپتامبر سال 2015میلادی

عنوان: مهاجرت (اکسدوس)؛ نویسنده: لئون اوریس؛ 1959؛ در 599ص؛ موضوع: یهودیان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا 1939م تا 1945م

لئون اوریس؛ در روز سوم از ماه اوت سال 1924میلادی، در «بالتیمور» ایالت «مریلند آمریکا» به دنیا آمدند؛ پدر و مادرش از «لهستانی»های مهاجر بودند؛ ایشان در هفده سالگی، وارد نیروی دریایی «ایالات متحده آمریکا» شدند، و سپس به روزنامه نگاری روی آوردند، و پس از بارها شکست و ناامیدی، در سال 1953میلادی با نوشتن کتاب «فریاد پیروزی» به موفقیت چشمگیری دست یافتند؛ ایشان سپس با نوشتن کتابهایی همچون «مهاجرت»، «توپاز»، «خیانت در آتن»، «تپه های خشم» و به ویژه «ترینیتی» میان نویسندگان رده ی نخست بین المللی قرار گرفتند

کتاب «مهاجرت» درباره ی تاریخ تاسیس کشور «اسرائیل» است؛ در سالهای پایانی سده نوزده میلادی، با اوج گرفتن «یهود» ستیزی در «اروپا»، موجب ایجاد جنبش «صهیونیسم» شد؛ در پی تصرف سرزمین «سوریه»، توسط «انگلستان» در جنگ جهانی نخست، و قیمومیت «انگلستان» بر آن سرزمین، و اعلامیه «بالفور»، موج مهاجرات «یهودیان»، به این سرزمین، موسوم به «علیا»، شکل گرفت، و باعث ایجاد تنش‌هایی بین «اعراب»، و «یهودیان» گشت؛ در پی اعلام استقلال «اسرائیل»، در سال 1948میلادی، و گسترش موج مهاجرت «یهودیان» به آن سرزمین، تنش‌ها به نزاع بزرگ «اعراب»، و «اسرائیل»، منجر شد؛ در حال حاضر، در حدود چهل و درصد از «یهودیان» جهان، در «اسرائیل» امروزی، زندگی می‌کنند؛ و این کشور بزرگترین مرکز تجمع پیروان «یهودیت» است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tea Jovanović.
Author 410 books686 followers
January 13, 2014
Knjiga o nastanku države Izrael... guta se u dahu... po njoj je snimljen i čuveni film s Polom Njumenom... Pre nekoliko godina sam svojoj prijateljici, vrsnoj prevodilici rekla: "Šta nisi čitala ništa od Leona Urisa? Ne javljaj mi se dok ne pročitaš nešto!" Poslušala me i odmah je potražila knjige u knjižari i... u roku od nekoliko meseci progutala je sve čega je mogla da se dočepa... :)
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,816 followers
October 3, 2020
I don't think we live in such a black and white world. One man's heaven could be others' nightmare and vice versa. Every coin has two sides, and there are always stories that we don't know, so I think it is harsh to divide one faction into good and other into bad.
Profile Image for Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo.
620 reviews179 followers
April 1, 2012
10 Stars, if I Could!!!!

Much to my chagrin I have never read Leon Uris! Why I waited? I have no excuses to serve up. Uris writes BIG BOOKS that are quite spectacular. He is one of very few brilliant maestros in literature, in my opinion. He writes with an ease that kept me turning the 648 pages of this great masterpiece. His research into the facts of Palestine and the exoduses to her holy land is extensive and as factual as possible in pre-electronic 1958. His characters are so well developed that I felt each one was a member of my very own family. I cried and laughed with them. I felt their dreams and their pain and the blinding frustration as they followed their life long dream: Palestine! And certainly the British Empire would be their greatest friend, especially since they ratified the Palestine Mandate, right? Wrong. Why? Oil, of course. As the novel begins, the reader is introduced to the British duplicity. Caught on the Cyprus shoreline in British DP camps behind barbed wire are thousands of Jewish refugees waiting for transport to Ersatz-Israel after the conclusion of WW II. Foreign correspondent Mark Palmer and his childhood friend Kitty Fremont are reunited and enjoying the Cyprus sun after the long war in Europe. Since her husband and child’s death, Kitty has been on the Greek Island working as a nurse in various orphanages.

Ari Ben Canaan, a very handsome sabra asks Mark to stay and will hand him an exclusive. The Mossad agent is going to smuggle 300 children to Palestine right under the British noses! They are to sail on the Exodus in two weeks time. He also needs the services of Fremont, but she is adamant: no. Yes, you guessed it. She eventually does, but only after she meets a young girl named Karen in the camps and hears David Ben Ami’s tale of a “historical abortion.” This tale begins in 1896 Russia and ends with the Rabinsky brothers in Ersatz-Israel many long and difficult years later.

We also learn Karen and Dov’s stories: the young Jewish girl who Ari squirreled out of Germany and into Denmark and the quiet bitter concentration camp survivor who is more at home in the dark dank sewers under a Polish Ghetto than in the light. We meet the sabras: Dagna, David, Eli, Jordana, and Ari. This first generation of Ersatz-Israel are strong and focused. They are Israel. They work hard without complaint to reclaim the “dead” land and will fight to their death to see Palestine as the independent state of Israel. Death threatens on all sides, neither the Arabs nor the Brits want them there. The ship Exodus is both a symbol and a life dream. And Leon Uris’s EXODUS is the perfect vessel to tell their stories!
Profile Image for Lorna.
719 reviews419 followers
September 13, 2021
Exodus by Leon Uris has long been one of my favorite books for many years and and a re-read of this beautiful book only enhanced my love for this book. The book of Exodus is the second book of the Bible also known as the Second Book of Moses. And Moses is considered an important prophet in three major world religions: Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam. And what can I say about this beautiful book that has stood the test of time. While I will admit that it is the romantic tale of Zionism in 1948, it is a powerful novel that I will continue to love.

The beautiful and enduring relationships that were forged throughout this time are unforgettable as well as the old patched together ship that was to transport three-hundred children, all survivors of German concentration camps, from the the island of Cypress to Palestine. But alas, the British were attempting to block the passage of the Exodus. And it is this dramatic showdown between the Palestinianians and the British that the course of the book is clear as we come to know those who have survived a grim history during World War II, but have that irrepressible spark of life that wants to find a better place just to be, to exist.

And a few of my favorite passages:

"From now on she will be known as the Exodus."

"Exactly what is this Mossad Aliyah Bet?" "The word aliyah means to arise, go up, ascend. When a Jew goes to Palestine it is always referred to as an aiiyah. . . always going higher than he was. Aleph or the letter a was used to designate the legal immigration. Bet or the letter b for the illegal. Therefore Mossad Aliyah Bet means Oranization for Illegal Immigration."

"With that, Ben Canaan took a Bible from the desk of the wheelhouse, opened it ot Ezekial and read: Thus sayeth the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob wherein your father's abode and they shall abide therein and even they and their children's children forever." Ari Ben Canaan put the Bible down. "The gentleman at Whitehall had better study their claims further I say the same thing to the Foreign Minister that a great man said to another oppressor three thousand years ago--LET MY PEOPLE GO."
Profile Image for Gary.
948 reviews207 followers
July 16, 2023
This remarkable book documents the birth struggle of the Jewish State of Israel. Many Holocaust survivors, among others, took part in that labour. This account is historically accurate (as historical novels go). The reader comes to know the characters intimately-the dashing soldier/hero Ari Ben Canaan who falls in love with Kitty Fremont, the American nurse who reluctantly works with the Jews and grows to change her condescending attitude to a genuine love for these people. There is the vivacious and beautiful Karen Clement-a young German Jewish girl who was raised by a Christian family in Denmark in order to escape Hitler’s Holocaust; and Dov Landau who has lived through the worst horrors imaginable during the dreadful Nazi occupation of Poland. We live through the trials and tribulation of those trying to set up a small homeland against overwhelming odds, violent Arab hordes and the bigotry of the British Empire. This truthful account also looks through the eyes of Arabs, British and others.
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,833 reviews44 followers
August 18, 2023
Another of my 'Haven't Read This In 30 Years' titles, the trigger event here is the dramatic story of children who become passengers on the ship Exodus. But woven in and around this escapade is the intense story of a people, a dream, a country. We are shown a bit of Jewish history: some chapters will make you feel you are being punched in the gut. We dream the dream of next year in Jerusalem almost as vividly as the characters of the book, who never give up hope. We participate in the creation of a homeland, and feel just as proud of the newly reclaimed farmlands and flowering of the desert as the kibbutzim who worked so hard. Israel grows before our eyes. We close the book with (hopefully) a better understanding of what 'homeland' means, and how to cherish and protect it.

Profile Image for Yael Itamar.
169 reviews11 followers
May 27, 2011
This book is chock-full of bad prose, flat characters, and very unfortunate implications. Every Jewish character is brave, strong, smart, and talented. The Arabs, on the other hand, are all cowardly, stupid, and possessive of women (with one exception, but he dies early on.)

The founding of Israel was controversial, and you would think that an author writing about it would address the moral ambiguity. Leon Uris doesn't even try. He turns a complex, multi-sided historical event into a cliched battle between "good" and "evil."

This book frightened me. There was one scene where a boy was inducted into an extremist Zionist organization. The ritual involved placing one hand on a Bible and the other on a gun. While the other characters didn't agree with the extremism at first, they later conceded that this organization had the right idea.

I'm Israeli, and I could hardly stomach this book. It scares me that so many people think it's a wonderful work of literature.
Profile Image for Larry Bassett.
1,458 reviews305 followers
September 24, 2016
This is another book that I read as a young teenager. I don't think I knew anyone who was Jewish and knew hardly anything about the history of Israel. This book took me way outside my normal white suburban world. It was another one of those thick books that I looked at and wondered how I could ever read that many pages. But I did.

I am reading this book again, fifty five years later.

I have read a few other reviews of this book and find some that allege it is extremely anti-Arab. This may come from the current Israeli Palestinian conflict. The book starts out with a fairly intense description of the Jewish experience of the World War II holocaust. That is certainly an obvious way to give a good deal of sympathy to Jews. One cannot but sympathize with their status after the war and their desire for a safe homeland.

One of the things that people often bring up about the Jews after the war is why didn't they just go back to places where they came from? Why did they need a Jewish homeland? The book goes that link to show why. A good example is Poland were 3 1/2 million Jews lived at the time of the war. The book goes into detail about how they were discriminated against in Poland over many generations and then how the Polish people stood by when the Germans came in and murdered the Jews en masse. Of course some Jews did return to where they had lived before the war but many did not. The book covers this territory very thoroughly.

This book is about 90% war and struggle and Jewish success against unlikely odds. The characters are all dedicated foremost to creating a Jewish homeland.
Profile Image for Zeek.
870 reviews149 followers
March 31, 2010
While overall I liked the book, still, some niggling thoughts ate at the corner of my mind as I made my way through Exodus.

Whereas this book is fiction, for some reason, I came to this thinking that what Uris put down is very close to fact. What worried me as I read it, is that it isn't. Why? Every Jew good, every Arab bad. (As well as the British who colonized Palestine at the time of Israel's independence.) That's too cut and dry for me. In every conflict there is a right and wrong, this I believe firmly, but too often the lines blur. There was no room for that in this book. As much as I want to believe it's all true, and it is what it was, I know that it is not.

Although, I do enjoy historical fiction more when based on facts- that's okay with me. It's fiction.

Stylistically, the story recounted a story rather than show one- which is unfortunate. The love stories were sweet but not terribly engaging (except for Karen and Dov- we needed more of that one!), and he had a habit of dropping characters off the face of the earth. (What the heck happened to Mark what's-his-name, the reporter at the beginning of the story?)

What I did like was the re-telling of the horrors of Nazi Germany and the History of the Jewish race from the "Jewish Pale of Settlement". (Not that I like to hear it, but because we need reminded of it every once and awhile), and how he introduced characters by their history and their family's history.

And yes, ok, I cried at the end. If you're at all interested in history, Jewish history in particular, you should pick it up, then tell me what you think.
Profile Image for David.
Author 1 book30 followers
July 17, 2022
I read "Exodus" in high school. Israel was the "cool" country then: small, tough, self-reliant (with a few powerful friends) and just about everything they did was daring, neat and ground-breaking. I wanted to go join up. A year later I tried to but was headed for my own military. I started to teach myself Hebrew which quickly led by happenstance to learning Farsi and later Arabic. I learned Farsi quite well, Arabic enough to get by, but not Hebrew--yet.

"Exodus"--the book, and later the movie with Paul Newman who looked the part, but not as well as Omar Sharif did in Lawrence of Arabia and Eva Marie Saint who never really looked the part in any of her roles that I know about, could save the movie (even with the miserable theme song) if you had read the book. There was also Sal Mineo, poor guy. The book was meaningful to me on a couple of levels, but there's only one classic—"Exodus", and that took place in Egypt and the Sinai. The reason for the exodus that took place in the 40s was much more horrific, and Leon Uris' novel could not do it enough justice. Perhaps no movie or book ever could.

I read it back then because I saw one of my schoolmates reading it and I asked him if it was good, so we kind of read it simultaneously, checking with each other every couple of days or so. I realized much later that he was shocked that I had shown an interest in reading what he was reading and probably that I was reading books at all.
Profile Image for Julie.
136 reviews2 followers
February 20, 2008
Really, this is one of my all time fave books. It really captures the history (ACCURATELY, I might add!) of how the country of modern-day Israel was born and all the incredible struggles that the Jews faced from seemingly every direction. A fantastic historical novel, even thought it's fiction. I highly recommend this to anyone who feels they could beef up on their historical understanding of the middle east of today--will really help you read through the western media when watching the news!
September 23, 2020
I was just reminded of this novel/author by Em Lost In Books. I read this over 50 years ago and I loved it. This is one of those pretend-you-are-sick-and-stay-home-in-bed-to-read-all-day books.

I've also seen the movie at least half a dozen times over the years.
Profile Image for Deborah Pickstone.
852 reviews91 followers
December 27, 2016
This blew me away. And has done the same thing every time I read it over the many years - I think I was about 14 when I read it. It is done from the Israeli side and we know that it is a biased account and it is FICTION and was written in 1959. What it does say, though, is how good it was to have a country when Jews have been disenfranchised and defenseless for centuries and across all the walks of life.

Yes, now we see that there were a whole mass of people who were also disenfranchised - the Lebanese Arabs - but how can it be changed again? For me, he was an American Jew and he wrote in 1958/1959, 10 or 11 years after the State of Israel. Most of the book is about the Holocaust.

I find this in the reviewers - 'there is nothing between Hitler and Zionist jews'. Hummmmm....just a small matter of the Holocaust. Whatever it is, this book sure stirs up some feelings. Yes, it is dated - so why are we throwing other modern notions onto it? Surely it may serve a purpose and for me it was positive, all the way through life. I has a professor of Sociology and he shared his own German Jewish background back to the 10th century and what happened to them. I cried. And I cried at this book, every time. Whatever happened to the Jews, they needed a break, they got on in 1948 and it ain't going away.
Profile Image for Raelene.
454 reviews27 followers
August 20, 2007
Excellent; one of the best works of historical fiction I've read. I gobbled it up and couldn't get enough in one sitting. This story of the Jews is amazing and seemed to me more powerful than any one account of the Holocaust I've read because it's not one individual's or one family's ordeal, but the story of an entire people - you really feel the tragedy of their history and the glory of their hard-won victory in gaining their own state. Beautiful and moving.

From an old notebook I found this week (Sept 2010) - "Beautiful. And moving. It seemed more powerful to me than any one account of the holocaust beause a) it was a more complete (and disheartening) history and b) it was not the experience of one individual or one family but that of an entire nation. I admire the courage and determination of the Jews in reclaiming their homeland - and their dignity. A very powerful story."
Profile Image for Mike.
1 review
February 11, 2008
It is not so often that a book stirs up so many emotions as Exodus. Exodus is an American masterpiece, a story woven with intricate threads creating a thought provoking story of tragedy and triumph. It tells the story of the establishment of Israel, and the atrocities that occured at the time. Despite moving slowly at the beggining, it quickly picks up and is a visceral thrillride. As battles are thought and the conditions grow bleaker for the protagonist, the more the reader feels involved with the characters. Definitely a good read and worth buying.
Profile Image for Floripiquita.
1,378 reviews159 followers
February 10, 2018
Lo leí hace mil años, tras ver la película de Paul Newman, y me gustó mucho. Lo recomiendo.
Profile Image for James Burns.
175 reviews14 followers
July 10, 2016
If you love Jewish/Israeli History. If you like reading about the crimes committed and the heroics performed during the Holocaust. If you like to read about Zionism and How Countries of the world effected or hindered the establishment of a Jewish State. And last but not least, and you want this to be a novel, which is historically accurate, look no further, this is the book to read. I truly loved reading this book, I couldn't hardly put it down. It was so easy to read, I became a part of the Story and emotionally lived the story, I could feel and even smell what the characters were going through. This is the story of the Holocaust and the struggles of the Jewish people to establish the state of Israel in an Arab and British controlled Palestine. This is also the story of how all these events played in the lives of Ari Ben Canaan (whose Character was based on the real life Yossi Harel) who was the architect of Smuggling of Jews into Palestine, and Using the Ship the Exodus, With 300 Children as a way to bring the attention to the world on the struggles of the Jews of Palestine and the immoral and inhumane treatment of the Jewish holocaust victims trying to immigrate to Palestine at the hands of the British. Kitty Fremont, a Christian Nurse from America, trying to make sense of the loss of her husband in WW II, and their only daughter who died a few months later. She finally finds what she needs in the person of Karen who was looking for her parents, and Dov, a youth filled with hate and revenge, living through the holocaust from the Warsaw Ghetto. all of the historical characters and events are here. this a must read book, and for me a life changing event.
Profile Image for ALLEN.
553 reviews121 followers
September 17, 2018
It's an important historical novel that, within a fictionalized approach, offers excellent insight into the formation of the Jewish state and nation of Israel in the late 1940s. In fact, EXODUS opens in 1947 as underground Jewish groups attempt to thwart the British attempts to keep Palestine-bound Jewry sealed up in virtual concentration camps in other areas like Cyrpus, in the obvious hope they will give up any attempt to find their homeland and return to war-torn Europe. The hypocritical and occasionally cruel actions by the British stand in clear contrast to their Balfour Declaration made during the first World War, which acknowledged in principle the right of self-determination of the Jewish people to found a homeland in what was then called the Palestinian Mandate.

Overall, EXODUS is a very powerful book, but the writing style is a little awkward. Sometimes the main characters are a little too good for their own good -- Paul Newman's role as Ari Ben Canaan in the movie was no exaggeration, his character really was portrayed that way in this book.
41 reviews
December 4, 2007
one of my favorite books, I just wish a few more people would read it!

Fantastic way to learn more about the Jewish history as a whole and the Jewish National Movement specifically. Plus, it has a really great love story!

I learned so much that I did not know or understand about Jewish history, and in such an easy-read format. Takes a little while to get moving, but so worth it!
Profile Image for Linda Hart.
733 reviews140 followers
February 15, 2021
I read this book 60 years ago, when it was first published, it had a profound effect on my life. About 25 years later, after a trip to Israel many of the incidents and parts of the story came back to me, so I did a quick RD Digest reread.
Profile Image for Tifnie.
536 reviews15 followers
September 17, 2009
WOW! I love this book. I would give it 10 stars if Goodreads allotted it.

Exodus is about the Jewish plight out of Cyprus to Palestine and building upon the holy land. More specifically it is about survival in German concentration camps, the evacuation of 300 children from a Cyprus on a container ship - Exodus, and what happened to the Jews once they landed in Palestine. It's about how the British botched protection, how the Arabs hated the Jews and sought revenge at ALL cost, and how the Jews never forgot their faith nor deviated from it.

Leon Uris did a fantastic job and telling a story all-the-while staying true to facts of actual occurrences. The story clipped along and not only could I not place the book down, but I couldn't sleep at night. I fell in love with the characters and I developed a thirst for the Jewish history, their faith, and their devotion to the holy land.

This book should be required reading for "high school" not a book you read in college or later in life.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,138 reviews151 followers
November 13, 2007
There is no better tale than this of how brave these people were and still are. I read this many times and have to again...it's been awhile.
Profile Image for Helen.
Author 12 books225 followers
October 12, 2012
This is still the best book I ever read about the birth of the state of Israel, searing with passion and immediacy, even-handed enough to mourn a troubled future relationship with the Palestinians.
Profile Image for Lisa (Harmonybites).
1,834 reviews341 followers
May 5, 2011
An Israeli friend of mine first recommended Uris--particularly his The Haj, about Arab/Israeli relations, and I remember liking that novel. Maybe it's that my tastes have changed, or just that this was one of Uris' first novels, but my impression of this one is that it had the materials to be a gripping, first-rate story if only Uris got out of his own way.

Uris attempts to tell the story of the birth of modern Israel--and maybe takes on too much. The story, set in 1946, is framed as being about the refugee ship Exodus, and attempts to force the British, who rule over Palestine, to allow the survivors of the Holocaust being kept in camps in Cyprus to sail to the promised land. Studded through this tale are flashbacks of various characters to help us understand what helps drive these immigrants.

There's the tale of Karen Clement, a German Jew who found refuge among the Danes, whose King said in a broadcast to his occupied country, that if any in his kingdom had to wear a band with a yellow star, he'd be the first--and whose people then evacuated their Jewish population to Sweden rather than let the Nazi's have them. But then Karen found the Holocaust orphaned her. There's Dov Landau, who as a young boy took part in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and then captured by the Nazis wound up shipped to Auschwitz. There's Ari Ben Canaan, whose father fled from the "Jewish Pale" of Russia and helped reclaim the land from the desert.

The style is pretty pedestrian--very simple syntax, intrusive tagging, and boy, someone please take away the exclamation point key from this man. The characters strike me as flat, and Ari Ben Canaan, arguably the main character, is very much a Marty Sue. But by and large what kills this story is that it violates the first rule of writing--show, don't tell. Too many stories are laid out in narrative, as dry history, so that I wonder what is the point of making this fiction. Like another recent novel with fascinating historical detail but less than strong storytelling (one about Josephine Bonaparte) this left me wishing I had picked up a non-fiction book about the events and movements touched upon--Zionism, the Warshaw Ghetto uprising, the founding of Israel--the Danish resistance to the Nazis, rather than this work of fiction.
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