Published in 1958, the 600-page Exodus was a sensation as millions read Mr. Uris’ detailed, heroic chronicle of European Jewry from the turn of the century to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The novel was translated into dozens of languages and was even distributed secretly in communist countries.
«Exodus has been the Bible of the Jewish dissident movement in Russia,» Mr. Uris told the Associated Press in a 1988 interview. »It’s referred to as ‘The Book.’ «
Some Israelis, however, thought Mr. Uris too kind to them. Israeli historian and author Tom Segev said Mr. Uris drew a picture of Israel and Zionism that was glorified beyond reality, and «it was more harmful than helpful.»