Exodusby Leon Uris
The Exodus was just one ship among many that carried survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine to establish a new nation. But the path that Jewish immigrants took to enter British-controlled Palestine was a/i>/b>/i>
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This #1 New York Times–bestselling saga traces Israel’s earliest days and the people who fought to make it their home
The Exodus was just one ship among many that carried survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine to establish a new nation. But the path that Jewish immigrants took to enter British-controlled Palestine was a difficult one, fraught with danger and political intrigue. The boat was intercepted by British forces and the refugees were placed in concentration camps.
Uris’s blockbuster novel traces the lives of the men and women who brave British naval blockades to help Israel come into being, from Ari Ben Canaan, who works tirelessly to smuggle in settlers, to Kitty Fremont, an American nurse drawn into a vast, tragic history. Weaving together fact and fiction, history and dramatic storylines, Exodus stands today as one of the most influential narratives of the founding of the State of Israel.
A #1 New York Times bestseller for nineteen months, Exodus was made into an Academy Award–winning film. It is as essential to understanding the state of Israel today as when it was first published.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Leon Uris including rare photos from the author’s estate.
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Read an Excerpt
By Leon Uris
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 1958 Leon M. Uris
All rights reserved.
WELCOME TO CYPRUS
The airplane plip-plopped down the runway to a halt before the big sign: WELCOME TO CYPRUS. Mark Parker looked out of the window and in the distance he could see the jagged wonder of the Peak of Five Fingers of the northern coastal range. In an hour or so he would be driving through the pass to Kyrenia. He stepped into the aisle, straightened out his necktie, rolled down his sleeves, and slipped into his jacket. "Welcome to Cyprus, welcome to Cyprus ..." It ran through his head. It was from Othello, he thought, but the full quotation slipped his mind.
"Anything to declare?" the customs inspector said.
"Two pounds of uncut heroin and a manual of pornographic art," Mark answered, looking about for Kitty.
All Americans are comedians, the inspector thought, as he passed Parker through. A government tourist hostess approached him. "Are you Mr. Mark Parker?"
"Mrs. Kitty Fremont phoned to say she is unable to meet you at the airport and for you to come straight to Kyrenia to the Dome Hotel. She has a room there for you."
"Thanks, angel. Where can I get a taxi to Kyrenia?"
"I'll arrange a car for you, sir. It will take a few moments."
"Can I get a transfusion around here?"
"Yes, sir. The coffee counter is straight down the hall."
Mark leaned against the counter and sipped a steaming cup of black coffee ... "Welcome to Cyprus ... welcome to Cyprus" ... he couldn't for the life of him remember.
"Say!" a voice boomed out. "I thought I recognized you on the plane. You're Mark Parker! I bet you don't remember me."
Fill in one of the following, Mark thought. It was: Rome, Paris, London, Madrid (and match carefully); Jose's Bar, James's Pub, Jacques's Hideaway, Joe's Joint. At the time I was covering: war, revolution, insurrection. That particular night I had a: blonde, brunette, redhead (or maybe that broad with two heads).
The man stood nose to nose with Mark, gushing on all eight cylinders now. "I was the guy who ordered a martini and they didn't have orange bitters. Now do you remember me?" Mark sighed, sipped some coffee, and braced for another onslaught. "I know you hear this all the time but I really enjoy reading your columns. Say, what are you doing in Cyprus?" The man then winked and jabbed Mark in the ribs. "Something hush-hush, I bet. Why don't we get together for a drink? I'm staying at the Palace in Nicosia." A business card was slapped into Mark's hand. "Got a few connections here, too." The man winked again.
"Oh, Mr. Parker. Your car is ready."
Mark put the cup down on the counter. "Nice seeing you again," he said, and walked out quickly. As he departed he dropped the business card into a trash basket.
The taxi headed out from the airport. Mark rested back and closed his eyes for a moment. He was glad that Kitty couldn't get to the airport to meet him. So much time had passed and there was so much to say and so much to remember. He felt a surge of excitement pass through him at the thought of seeing her again. Kitty, beautiful, beautiful, Kitty. As the taxi passed through the outer gates Mark was already lost in thought.
... Katherine Fremont. She was one of those great American traditions like Mom's apple pie, hot dogs, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. For Kitty Fremont was the proverbial "girl next door." She was the cliché of pigtails, freckles, tomboys, and braces on the teeth; and true to the cliché the braces came off one day, the lipstick went on and the sweater popped out and the ugly duckling had turned into a graceful swan. Mark smiled to himself—she was so beautiful in those days, so fresh and clean.
... and Tom Fremont. He was another American tradition. Tom was the crew-cut kid with the boyish grin who could run the hundred in ten flat, sink a basket from thirty feet out, cut a rug, and put a Model A together blindfolded. Tom Fremont had been Mark's best pal as long as he could remember for as far back as he could remember. We must have been weaned together, Mark thought.
... Tom and Kitty ... apple pie and ice cream ... hot dogs and mustard. The all-American boy, the all-American girl, and the all-American Midwest of Indiana. Yes, Tom and Kitty fitted together like the rain and springtime.
Kitty had always been a quiet girl, very deep, very thoughtful. There was a tinge of sadness in her eyes. Perhaps it was only Mark who detected that sadness, for she was joy itself to everyone around her. Kitty had been one of those wonderful towers of strength. She always had both hands on the rudder, always had the right words to say, always decent and thoughtful. But that sadness was there ... Mark knew it if no one else did.
Mark often wondered what made her so desirable. Maybe it was because she seemed so unreachable to him. The iced champagne—the look and the word that could tear a man to pieces. Anyhow, Kitty had always been Tom's girl and the most he could do was envy Tom.
Tom and Mark were roommates at State University. That first year Tom was absolutely miserable being away from Kitty. Mark remembered the hours on end he would have to listen to Tom's mournful laments and console him. Summer came, Kitty went off to Wisconsin with her parents. She was still a high-school girl and her folks wanted to dampen the fervor of the affair with a separation. Tom and Mark hitchhiked to Oklahoma to work in the oil fields.
By the time school started again Tom had cooled down considerably. To remain in Mark's company one had to sample the field. The times between Tom and Kitty's letters lengthened and the times between Tom's dates on the campus shortened. It began to look like a strike-out for the college hero and the girl back home.
By their senior year Tom had all but forgotten Kitty. He had become the Beau Brummell of State, a role befitting the ace forward on the basketball team. As for Mark, he was content to bask in Tom's glory and generally make a name for himself as one of the worst journalism students in the university's history.
Kitty came to State as a freshman.
Mark could see Kitty a thousand times and it was always as exciting as the first. This time Tom saw her the same way. They eloped a month before Tom's graduation. Tom and Kitty, Mark and Ellen, a Model A Ford, and four dollars and ten cents crossed the state line and sought out a justice of the peace. Their honeymoon was in the back seat of the Model A, bogged down in the mud of a back road and leaking like a sieve in a downpour. It was an auspicious beginning for the all-American couple.
Tom and Kitty kept their marriage a secret until a full year after his graduation. Kitty stayed on at State to finish her pre-nursing training. Nursing and Kitty seemed to go together, too, Mark always thought.
Tom worshiped Kitty. He had always been a bit wild and too independent, but he settled down to very much the devoted husband. He started out as a very little executive in a very big public relations firm. They moved to Chicago. Kitty nursed in Children's Hospital. They inched their way up, typical American style. First an apartment and then a small home. A new car, monthly bills, big hopes. Kitty became pregnant with Sandra.
Mark's thoughts snapped as the taxi slowed through the outskirts of Nicosia, the capital city that sat on the flat brown plain between the northern and southern mountain ranges. "Driver, speak English?" Mark asked.
"They've got a sign at the airport, Welcome to Cyprus. What is the full quotation?"
"As far as I know," the driver answered, "they're just trying to be polite to tourists."
They entered Nicosia proper. The flatness, the yellow stone houses with their red tiled roofs, the sea of date palms all reminded Mark of Damascus. The road ran alongside the ancient Venetian wall which was built in a perfect circle and surrounded the old city. Mark could see the twin minarets that spiraled over the skyline from the Turkish section of the old city. The minarets that belonged to St. Sophia's, that magnificent crusader cathedral turned into a Moslem mosque. As they drove along the wall they passed the enormous ramparts shaped like arrowheads. Mark remembered from his last visit to Cyprus that there was the odd number of eleven of these arrowheads jutting from the wall. He was about to ask the driver why eleven but decided not to.
In a matter of moments they were out of Nicosia and moving north on the plain. They passed one village after another, monotonously similar, made of gray mud-brick cottages. Each village had one water fountain which bore an inscription that it was built through the generosity of His Majesty, the King of England. In the colorless fields the peasants labored with the potato crop, working behind those magnificent beasts, the Cyprus mules.
The taxi picked up speed again and Mark sank back to his reveries.
... Mark and Ellen had gotten married a little after Tom and Kitty. It was a mistake from the first day. Two nice people not made for each other. Kitty Fremont's quiet and gentle wisdom held Mark and Ellen together. They both could come to her and pour their hearts out. Kitty kept the marriage intact long after time had run out. Then it broke wide open and they were divorced. Mark was thankful there had been no children.
After the divorce Mark moved East and began banging around from job to job, having matriculated from the world's worst journalism student to the world's worst newspaperman. He became one of those drifters who inhabit the newspaper world. It was not stupidity nor lack of talent, but complete inability to find his niche in life. Mark was a creative man and the business of routine reporting cut that creativity. Yet he had no desire to attempt the life of a creative writer. He knew that his personality would not take the demands on a novelist. So Mark hung in limbo, being neither fish nor fowl.
Each week there was a letter from Tom, and it would be filled with enthusiasm and the vigor of his climb to the top. The letters were also filled with Tom's love for Kitty and their baby girl, Sandra.
Mark remembered Kitty's letters. A calm appraisal of Tom's effervescence. Kitty always kept Mark posted on Ellen's whereabouts until Ellen remarried.
In 1938 the world opened up for Mark Parker. There was a post to be filled in Berlin with American News Syndicate, and Mark was suddenly transformed from a "newspaper bum" into the respectability of a "foreign correspondent."
In this capacity Mark proved to be a talented journeyman. He was able to fill part of his desire for creativity by developing a style that labeled him as an individual—as Mark Parker and no one else. Mark was by no means a world-beater but he did have that one great instinct of a crack foreign correspondent: an ability to smell out a story in the making.
The world was a lark. He covered Europe, Asia, and Africa from one end to the other. He had a title, he was doing work he liked, his credit was good at Jose's Bar, James's Pub, Joe's and Jacques's Hideaway, and he had an inexhaustible list of candidates for his blonde-, brunette-, or redhead-of-the-month club.
When the war broke out Mark chased all over Europe. It was good to settle back in London for a few days where a stack of mail from Tom and Kitty would be waiting.
Early in 1942 Tom Fremont enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was killed at Guadalcanal.
Two months after Tom's death, their baby, Sandra, died of polio.
Mark took emergency leave to return home, but by the time he arrived Kitty Fremont had disappeared. He searched for her without success until he had to return to Europe. To all intents she had disappeared from the face of the earth. It was strange to Mark, but that sadness that he always saw in Kitty's eyes seemed like a fulfilled prophecy.
The moment the war was over he returned to look for her again, but the trail had grown cold.
In November of 1945, American News Syndicate recalled him to Europe to cover the war-crimes trials in Nuremberg. By now Mark was an established craftsman and bore the title, "distinguished" foreign correspondent. He stayed on, turning in a brilliant series, until the top Nazis were hanged, only a few months back.
ANS granted Mark a much-needed leave of absence before transferring him to Palestine, where it appeared local war was brewing. To spend his leave in the accepted Mark Parker fashion, he chased down a passionate French UN girl he had met earlier, who had been transferred to the United Nations Relief in Athens.
It all happened from a clear blue sky. He was sitting in the American Bar, passing the time of day with a group of fellow newsmen, when the conversation somehow drifted to a particular American nurse in Salonika doing fabulous work with Greek orphans. One of the correspondents had just returned from there with a story on her orphanage.
The nurse was Kitty Fremont.
Mark inquired immediately and discovered that she was on vacation in Cyprus.
The taxi began to move upwards, out of the plain, on a twisting little road that led through the pass in the Pentadaktylos Mountains. It was turning dusk. They reached the peak and Mark ordered the car to pull over to the side.
He stepped out and looked down at the magnificent jewel-like little town of Kyrenia nestled against the sea at the foot of the mountain. To the left and above him stood the ruins of St. Hilarion Castle, haunted with the memory of Richard the Lion-Hearted and his beautiful Berengaria. He made a mental note to come back again with Kitty.
It was nearing dark as they reached Kyrenia. The little town was all white plaster and red tiled roofs, with the castle above it and the sea beside it. Kyrenia was picturesque and remote and quaint to a point where it could not have been more picturesque or remote or quaint. They passed the miniature harbor, filled with fishing smacks and small yachts, set inside two arms of a sea wall. On one arm was the quay. On the other arm stood an ancient fortress rampart, the Virgin Castle.
Kyrenia had long been a retreat for artists and retired British Army officers. It was, indeed, one of the most peaceful places on earth.
A block away from the harbor stood the Dome Hotel. Physically the big building seemed outsized and out of place for the rest of the sleepy little town. The Dome, however, had become a crossroads of the British Empire. It was known in every corner of the world that flew a Union Jack as a place where Englishmen met. It was a maze of public rooms and terraces and verandas sitting over the sea. A long pier of a hundred yards or more connected the hotel to a tiny island offshore used by swimmers and sun bathers.
The taxi pulled to a stop. The bellboy gathered in Mark's luggage. Mark paid off his driver and looked about. It was November but it was warmish yet and it was serene. What a wonderful place for a reunion with Kitty Fremont
The desk clerk handed Mark a message.
I am stuck in Famagusta until nine o'clock. Will you ever forgive me??? Dying with anxiety. Love.
"I want some flowers, a bottle of scotch, and a bucket of ice," Mark said.
"Mrs. Fremont has taken care of everything," the room clerk said, handing a key to the bellboy. "You have adjoining rooms overlooking the sea."
Mark detected a smirk on the clerk's face. It was the same kind of dirty look he had seen in a hundred hotels with a hundred women. He was about to set the record straight but decided to let the clerk think anything he damned well pleased.
He gathered in the view of the sea as it turned dark, then he unpacked and mixed himself a scotch and water and drank it while he soaked in a steaming tub.
Seven o'clock ... still two hours to wait.
He opened the door of Kitty's room. It smelled good. Her bathing suit and some freshly washed hosiery hung over the bathtub. Her shoes were lined up beside the bed and her make-up on the vanity. Mark smiled. Even with Kitty gone the empty room was full of the character of an unusual person.
He went back and stretched out on his bed. What had the years done to her? What had the tragedy done? Kitty, beautiful Kitty ... please be all right. It was now November of 1946, Mark figured; when was the last time he saw her? Nineteen thirty-eight ... just before he went to Berlin for ANS. Eight years ago. Kitty would be twenty-eight years old now.
The excitement and tension caught up with Mark. He was tired and he began to doze.
The tinkle of ice cubes, a sweet sound to Mark Parker, brought him out of a deep sleep. He rubbed his eyes and groped around for a cigarette.
"You sleep as though you were drugged," a very British accent said. "I knocked for five minutes. The bellboy let me in. Hope you don't mind me helping myself to the whisky."
Excerpted from Exodus by Leon Uris. Copyright © 1958 Leon M. Uris. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Leon Uris (1924–2003) was an author of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays whose works include numerous best-selling novels. His epic Exodus (1958) has been translated into over fifty languages. Uris’s work is notable for its focus on dramatic moments in contemporary history, including World War II and its aftermath, the birth of modern Israel, and the Cold War. Through the massive success of his novels and his skill as a storyteller, Uris has had enormous influence on popular understanding of twentieth-century history.
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I read Exodus for the first time over thirty five years ago when I was a student at Harpur College in Binghampton,New York.The book had a profound effect on me, changed my life, and is one of the reasons why I live in Israel today. The book tells the story of the birth of modern Israel against the background of Arab resistance to this .It tells the story of the 1948 Israeli War of Independance.But it also does this against the background of the Holocaust, and of Jewish suffering in history in general. It is possible to say as most critics do that the work is not great literature, but it is not necessarily the great books that change the world. It is ' Uncle Tom's Cabin' and not ' Moby Dick ' which plays a decisive role in changing American history.So Exodus is one of those works which inspired thousands of Jews in the former Soviet Union to re- awaken to their Jewish identity. The book is a story of Jewish heroism, and one which gives the sense of the whole historical enterprise of the Jewish people as a noble and great one.For writing this book Uris deserves to be remembered warmly in the heart of those who love and care for Israel.This hopefully is a good share of mankind, including those who can enjoy this work as a moving, dramatic story .A great read.
This book was amazing. It conveyed some very important messages, while still possessing a lot of historical information and emotion. The characters are well developed and the book is written with such emotion and detail that it was hard for me to put it down. The ending was perfect, exactly what anyone could hope for after reading the book up to that point, and it was anything I could have hoped for. After finishing the book, I couldn't stop thinking about it, and it has had a great impact on the way I view the world, especially the current conflict in Israel. I am only twelve years old and loved this book, and this is why I would recommend it to everyone. It is a classic and should be read by everyone!
Excellent read, very good history. Uris is always an exciting story-teller. I liked the book better than the Paul Newman movie.
I am another who first read this book many years ago. I first read it as a Junior in High School in 1959. I was appalled at the tales of such cruelty by people of another race just because they were different. As an adult now to re-read it, it is still appalling and yet helpful to understand so much better why we are in the political situation we are today as a nation. to quote from the book, 'oil rules the world.' 'We know the truth but it is another thing to live by the truth.' May this book help others to learn to live by the truth of each man treating others as a person as God intended.
even though it was fiction, it was historical fiction it told the story of the garbage the jews had to go through to just to get heard: corrupt Brtish government officials, Arabs with full of hatred, purges in europe, and the list can go on
This is a moving novel that blends the history of Israel with the story of one family's struggle to support it. It provides an excellent visual of what life and mentality was like in Israel before and soon after its independence.
I just finished this book less than an hour ago, and it was absolutely amazing. It has been a long time since a book has made me experience such a variety of strong emotions. I chose this book from a list of options for a school assignment and was dreading its 599 pages of small print, but now I wish I had started reading it earlier in the semester so I could have time to really enjoy the story rather than rushing through it. I definitely recommend this book.
I read this book for an application project on the Five Themes of Geography for my Honors Geography class, and I absolutely loved it. It was very helpful in giving information about the awful things that went on during the Holocaust and information even about the old and New Testament. I love how the author (Leon Uris) skips from one time period to another. When the author talked about the hardships through the Holocaust, he gave explicit details almost feeling like you were there. It was very horrifying to know that events in this book actually happened to a lot of people. After a couple of chapters I was hooked into the book and couldn't put it down. I really admired how Kitty Fremont's strength and courage kept her alive throughout the whole book. I would recommend this book to young adults.
Leon Uris is a superb historical writer and this book is a timeless classic.
I read the book Exodus by Leon Uris. It was a book mainly about the times after World War II and what all the refugees from war torn countries and concentration camps did with their lives afterwords. This book follows two main characters throughout; an Israeli freedom fighter named Ari Ben Canaan and an American, Christian nurse named Kitty Fremont. It shows Kitty's struggle for acceptance from herself and the other Jewish people, while it tells about Ari's struggle for the equality of the Jewish people and his learning that showing emotion isn't weakness. The major messages and themes in this book are; follow what you believe is right, and even if someone is different, it doesn't necessarily mean they are bad. One of the major messages is that you should always follow your heart because the characters are always doing what they think is right and not necessarily what is the popular opinion. When Kitty went to Israel to follow Ari and Karen instead of going somewhere else to nurse, people thought she was a little naïve and looking for danger. At the time this book was based on, Israel was a very dangerous spot and most Americans thought she was crazy. Another message that was portrayed in this book is that being different isn't bad and that theme is largely shown through the hate the Arabs had for the Jewish people. The Arabs hate the Jewish people because they have be told for many years that they are stealing their land and being all around bad people, most of the Arabs in the book have never even given any of the Jews a chance, they just automatically think they are frightened of everything and will confirm any stereotype they've heard. Throughout this book the Jews prove all of those stereotypes wrong and prove themselves worthy of having their own state and recognition. What I liked about this book is that there were many deep messages and at some parts it could be very interesting and exciting. It was an overall moving and powerful book to read. It let you get into the heads of everyone in that time period and each of their different views. The thing I most disliked about this book is that it was hard to get into because it takes a bit to start getting exciting and it is a little bit boring in some parts. I think people who like books about struggles, wars, and the parts of history that haven't been as well remembered will really enjoy this book. I really liked this book and as long the reader has a little patience to power through the boring parts it is well worth the read. If you liked Exodus, I would recommend Mila 18 by Leon Uris. It is another book with a strong plot and based on the times around World War II. Exodus was a really enjoyable book that I'm happy I had the pleasure of reading.
A great book. This is one of those books that makes you cry, from Dov's story to the destruction of Arab towns. You will want to read it again and again, because it has such a fantastic plot. Ari ben Cannan is amazing, as well as Dov and Karen and perhaps even Kitty. I almost cried when I finished this book, simply because I did not want to finish it.
I read this book when I was fourteen, yet the story is still vivid in my mind. Exodus is beyond a literary work. It is more than that. Historical sociological, philosophical in range, it challenges the reader to confront stereotypes, to see reality with another man's eyes and to judge fairly.
EXodus was one of the best books I have ever read. It tells of the plight of the Jewish people, and calms any prejudice you might hold. It brings you to love and care for the problems of Israel, wishing you could help. When a character dies, you feel it, when there is a wedding, you cheer. Leon Uris is a brilliant author, and this is his best work of all time.
This book was the most intresting book that ive read. I'm only 16 but this book was just amaizing.
It is not highbrow. It is not brimming full of literary allusions to everything under the sun. No, it was well and simply written by a man whose drive was never money or the favor of critics, and it tells a powerful story. Almost half a century ago, it told that story so powerfully that it influenced many people to rethink their views of Israel and of Jews. It influenced my father, a gentile, in high school. It influenced me.
We were in the bookstore, my mother and i, and she said, hey court! you need to read this book! i thought, well, why not? it's on our readign list for english. Once i started reading it, i could not stop. i slacked on doing my homework and read throughout the night. It was so good that i read instead of going out w/ m y friends. I cried in some parts and others inspired me to look up things like the warsaw ghetto and the aliyah bet. Uris definitely writes beautifully and make the reader feel a part of his story.
This is the best book ever! If you ever get a chance to read it, please do! I have never enjoyed books related to history, but this is definitely an exception. Ari Ben Canaan and Kitty Fremont are wonderfully put together. I couldn't put it down until the last sen
This book does an amazing job of portraying the horors of the Holocaust, the chaos that follows, and the begining of Zionism. Right now we are experiencing so many problems in the middle east. I think that after you have read this book you will look at Israel in a different way. Jewish or nonJewish reading this book is a must.
I had been told to read Exodus for a long time, but didn't pick it up until last week. I happened to be Yom Kippur, and problems were raging in the middle east. When I finished the book I wept so hard I had to go to my dorms bathroom to wash my face and people thought something bad had happened. It will impact you and remain with you probably forever
in this amazing book you don't just learn history..you feel like you are there taking part in it. Uris tells a heart warming story of the state of Israel and the people who were there through the thick and thin. I felt like I knew these characters who tooka dramatic role in this overwhelmingly acurate historical wonder. It presents both sides of the story, and makes it interesting and important for sabras and people from all walks of life.
I read this book for school, and I thought it was going to be another one of those boring, pointless books the school makes you read. I was wrong and loved the book, it was well written. I think it is one of the best books I have read.
This was the best book i've ever read. I wasnt even interested in Jewish history until I read this book.