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Exodus

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  62,008 ratings  ·  1,118 reviews
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 fighte ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by Bantam (first published 1958)
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Tere Fredericks Actually, according to a Jewish website I found, the events of the Exodus were basically true, only the ship's name was changed. Also, the Arabs (as…moreActually, according to a Jewish website I found, the events of the Exodus were basically true, only the ship's name was changed. Also, the Arabs (as depicted in the book, not all but a goodly number, as still today) certainly Arabs fought as they still do, for the same reasons. In fact, I remember Nasser's name, a lot of the names in this book. Part historical novel, part history lesson, once read, never forgotten.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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KC
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. Uri ...more
Nandakishore Varma
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 increase ...more
Laura
Mar 06, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone wishing to understand the origins of the arab israeli conflict

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-avail
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Noa
Nov 18, 2012 Noa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Noa by: My dad
It feels as if my life truly started when I read this book. There are no words for it. It shaped who I am today. It's beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring, and so much more. I used to read this at night before I went to bed to give myself happy dreams.I dreamed about the courage and honor and bravery and love that venerates through each and every word of the book. I dreamed that I could have half of the bravery of the characters. It is a beautiful, amazing book.
I wrote this (^) four years ago. Hon
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Tea Jovanović
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... :)
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Apr 01, 2012 Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Anne (Booklady) by: Patrice Molinarolo, the late Eleanor Molinarolo
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 t
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Zeek
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 bel
...more
Julie
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!
Raelene
Aug 20, 2007 Raelene rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Absolutely Everyone
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 wee
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 04, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
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
...more
Mike
Feb 11, 2008 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Mike by: Adam
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 ...more
Bap
Apr 17, 2008 Bap rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
This book is wildly pro Zionist and Isreal and was instrumental in convincing a generation of American baby boomers that the jews were heroic pioneers who journeyed from war torn Europe and the the holocaust to Palestine fulfilling their destiny by creating a homeland away from the anti-semiticsm of Europe and making the desert bloom. No wonder that when they made a movie they cast Paul Newman in the lead. It wasn't till much later that we realized that it was not so simple and the equities were ...more
Rob
Exodus is best compared to Exodus. A historical account very much in the vein of its namesake. By which I mean it is over-inclusive, over-long, and makes no attempt at balance. This zeal in itself is not a bad thing, but we mustn't be tempted to treat it as an accurate historical account. Most concerning to me is that this 'history' is littered with fictional characters who become hard to tease out from the truth.

The book gets off to a rather good start actually. We have a sense of adventure and
...more
philip
A romantics effort at telling the evolution of Israel.The historical fiction is a start but gets lost with the unnecessary romance between a Jewish fighter and a Gentile Nurse. Made no sense.
Uris is a good story teller, but lets the story often take over without consideration of the historcal fiction he allegedly tried to portray.
Historical fiction needs to be consistent with history while allowing the author certain liberties in his use of fictional characters.
The book was popularized and t
...more
Heather
I read this is college and really liked it. I wasn't aware how one sided it was (very pro-zionist) until I was talking about it with a friend of mine who was studying Israeli/Palestinian history. While reading I assumed this was historical fiction, meaning the characters might not be real, but the events in the story were true and presented objectively. Well, it needs to be read carefully, with the understanding that the writer had a very strong point of view in favor of the Jews. My friend reco ...more
Erika
Dec 03, 2007 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
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!
Mike
Nov 12, 2007 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
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.
Yael Itamar
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 batt
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Dorai Thodla
I read this somewhere in early seventies (probably 1973/74). That was the time to read a lot of Leon Uris. I think it started with QB IIV which I borrowed from Shantha. At that time with a low pay and lots of long hours in the evening (our shift at ECIL would end at 3PM), reading books, listening to radio were the only sources of entertainment.

Of couse, we filled lots of vacant time with talking about books. That was the period of James A Michner, Leon Uris and Larry Niven and Isaac Asimov.

I di
...more
Donna
I honestly am not sure how I feel about this book. It is historical fiction on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and it is hugely pro-Israeli. That doesn’t bother me, since it is a fictional story but some of its pro-arguments would not hold up today. I am not an expert on this subject, but if it made me question the validity of its arguments with my extremely limited knowledge, it begs the question, 'what would someone think who has actually done their homework?'

It was definitely well written. S
...more
Rebecca
I've been on a Jews/Israel reading jag lately, and as part of this, I decided that rereading Exodus might be worth it. I had read it when I was much younger and I remembered being pretty enthralled by the adventure story aspect of the novel, but I also suspected that I might find other aspects of the narrative more problematic this time around...

Well, the adventure part holds up. One thing I will say for this story is that it remains a, albeit sappy and silly, page turner. I couldn't help myself
...more
Tifnie
Sep 16, 2009 Tifnie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tifnie by: Shawnah
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 ne
...more
Judy

The #1 bestseller of 1959 was this long book about the history of the Zionist movement and the founding of modern day Israel. I have previously read The Hope, Herman Wouk's novel, which takes up the story in 1958 soon after Exodus ends, and carries it through the Six Day War of 1967. Wouk provides the reader with the 1950s American government's views on the conflict. I have also read A Tale of Love and Darkness, in which Amos Oz gives his account of growing up in Jerusalem in the 40s and 50s.

The
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Armin Hennig
Disappointing as a novel and a a history book, my impression is, that Uris could not decide if he wanted to write a novel or a history book, the characters are cardboard and the the combat scenes anything but satisfying, during the last 150 Pages he seems to loose any interest in his personal adding one sensational victory to another, bankrupcy of the author who turns into a news agency or propaganda-machine.
Of course it's nice to read, that 50.000 jews with 10.000 Rifles win the war against hal
...more
Gavin
Great book. It's an historical fiction of the founding of Israel, plus some background about Jews' life in Europe (Russia, Poland, Germany) in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Jews did amazing things in Palestine, buying up undesirable land from Arab landlords and transforming it into farmland, defending themselves against raids from Arab neighbors, getting more immigrants over, etc. So much hard work and hard fighting, there's too much to recount. There's a lovely section on Yemeni Jews. ...more
Susie
Jun 08, 2011 Susie added it
Recommends it for: everyone
I read this when I was a young teenage girl. There are no other words to say about this book than it was compelling. I was born only years after this conflict between the Israelis and British and Palistine. I grew up knowing how hard Isreal was working to gain their full autonomy and watched as they went through the 6 day war. To have read this book and many others about the Holocost and put the Jews struggle into perspective and why they needed their own land. I absolutely loved the book for th ...more
Jordana
I read this book a long time ago, but still remember vividly the personal struggles and stories told by Leon Uris in this historical fiction.

I have always felt a personal connection to this book because my mom got my name, Jordana, after the sister of the main character, Ari Ben Cannan, a leader of the Israeli freedom fighters, helping the Jewish people of his time have freedom and peace and a state all their own.

The book's name is based on the name of the 1947 immigration ship Exodus, which has
...more
Mason Wiebe
Tells the story of the beginning of the State of Israel with lots of interesting historical facts. Although it is full of true history this book is a work of fiction as it follows many different Zionists through their work as soldiers, farmers, diplomats and Jews. They work in concentration camps, displaced prisoners camps that aren’t much better, kibbutzes, hospitals, battlefields, ghettos and farms. They paid much too much for land in Palistine that the Arabs didn’t want and transformed it fro ...more
Dara
Aug 31, 2007 Dara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The Tribe
I was reading this during my March of the Living trip and it greatly impacted the experience of arriving in Israel after a few miserable days in Poland. As I began to settle in among "my people" and the Israeli soldiers who travled with us, I also began to feel rather attached to the characters in the book and I'm not ashamed to admit I had several cathartic moments.
Barbara
I've read this book a couple of times. I read it for the first time a year before I went to Israel for study abroad. I read it again a couple of years ago. It was fun to experience it differently - the first time as a stranger to Israel and the second as someone who had lived there.
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19708
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 pa
...more
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“Why must we fight for the right to live, over and over, each time the sun rises?” 10 likes
“Anything to declare? the customs inspector said."Two pound of uncut heroin and a manual of pornographic art," Mark answered, looking about for Kity. All Americans are comedians, the inspector thought, as he passed Parker through. A government tourist hostess approached him."Are you Mr. Mark Parker?""Guilty.” 9 likes
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