Sunday, 22 January 2017

Exodus by Leon Uris

Leon Uris

Exodus, in my view, is one of the most entertaining novels ever written—this book is comparable to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind or Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Many years ago when I read Exodus, I was mesmerized by Leon Uris’s account of the founding of modern Israel. The novel's characters are unforgettable. The broad historical sweep of its story is exceptional. A reader can’t do without identifying with the Jews, many of whom have escaped Hitler narrowly, and are now struggling against tremendous odds to establish a homeland.

The novel is set in the late 1940s, but Uris takes readers through extended flashbacks which shed light on the important episodes in the history of Zionism—the settling of the land of Israel, the Jewish ‘Pale’ in Russia, the travails of the diaspora, and the story of the Maccabees, the Palmach, the Haganah and the Irgun. There are the flashbacks that take you to the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi extermination camps.
Israel, in the 1940s, was not the land of milk and honey; it was a barren desert. Uris chronicles the exploits of men like Ari Ben Canaan, the novel’s protagonist, who fight to subdue the political opposition, tame the barren desert, and create a civilized country.

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