Uris, Leon: Exodus
(researched by Emily Shulman)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Leon Uris. Exodus. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1958. Parallel first editions: Wingate, London. Kimber, London. Doubleday, Toronto. Copyright: by Leon M. Uris
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is published in trade cloth binding, without a simultaneous or staggered paperback edition.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
322 leaves, [14] pp. [1-2] 3-196 [197-198] 199-319 [320-322] 323-469 [470-472] 473-577 [578-580] 581-626 [6]. Note: Page numbers are 18mm from the bottom edge of the page and 18mm from the outside edge.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
This book is not formally edited or introduced. However, on page [4], there is a list of other novels by Leon Uris and beneath, a list of screenplays by Leon Uris. On page [6], there is a note explining that the characters in Exodus are entirely fictional. On page [7], there is a dedication by the author. On page [9], there is a note of thanks by the author. On page [11], there is a table of contents.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
ï Brown maps are included inside the front cover, extending to the front of the first leaf of the book, and there is a map on the inside back cover, extending to the back of the last leaf of the book. The front cover map depicts the Middle East region. The back cover map is a close-up map of Israel, with the map on the back side of the last leaf depicting the northern part of Israel, and the map on the back cover depicting the southern part of Israel. Specific locations on all maps are marked by name written in black calligraphy. ï There are also maps on the pages which introduce the separate books within ìExodusî. ï ìBook 1î is introduced on page [1] with a map of Cyprus. Above the map, on the upper left corner of the page, "BOOK 1" is written in upper-case blue calligraphy. Also against the left margin, but lower down, is written, "Beyond Jordan". This is written in upper and lower case blue calligraphy in a smaller size. Beneath this, a quote from the bible is right justified. The following words are included: "Until the Lord have given rest unto your brethen, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.î Underneath this and also right justified is written: "The word of God as given to Moses in Deuteronomy". ï ìBook 2î is introduced on page [197] with a map depicting Israel. Above the map and left justified, "Book 2" is written in blue ink, all caps, in calligraphy. Directly below, "The Land is Mine" is also written in blue calligraphy, but in upper and lower case letters. Below this, biblical text is included, written in black calligraphy of upper and lower case. It states the following: ". . .for the land is mine: for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land." Underneath the text is cited as "The word of God as given to/ Moses in Leviticus". ï ìBook 3î is introduced on page [321] with a map depicting Jerusalem. Above the map, "Book 3" is written in the same blue calligraphy style. Below this is written, "An Eye for an Eye". Like the introduction to ìBook 2î, there is a quote from the bible, written in black calligraphy and right-justified. The following words are included: ". . .thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning." Beneath are the following words: "The word of God as given to Moses in Exodus". ï ìBook 4î is introduced on page [471] with a map of the Mediterranean coast. Above the map, "Book 4" is written in the same blue calligraphy style. Underneath this is written, "Awake in Glory". The biblical text includes the following words: "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee: yeah, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities are overpast. He shall send from heaven, and save me; he reproach- eth him that would swallow me up... God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. My sould is among lions: and I lie even among them that are on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tounge is a sharp sword. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen, themselves... Awake up, my glory...I will rouse the dawn..." Beneath this is written, "The Fifty-Seventh Psalm of David". ï ìBook 5î is introduced on page [579] with a map of Israel and Egypt. Above the map, "Book 5" is written in the same blue calligraphy style. Underneath this is written, "With Wings as Eagles". The biblical passage included here is in the same style as those previously described. The words include the following: "A voice crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strenght; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. Under this, the quote is cited as "Isaiah".
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The text is quite readable, with an average font size and ample margins. Dimensions of page: 209mm x 139mm Dimensions of text: 173mm x 103 mm Dimensions of Margins: Left and Right=18mm each Top=11mm Bottom=26mm The type size is 84R. The font is a serif.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is a cream color with a yellow tint, possibly due to age. The paper is thick and somewhat rough. It is definitely not glossy. Many of the pages are a bit ragged at the edges, somewhat like old construction paper.When the book is closed, the edges of the pages do not all line up smoothly. Some stick out farther than others. The edges are also discolored and appear a darker brownish yellow color. The very top edge of the pages are dyed green. There are no stains or tears in the paper.
11 Description of binding(s)
The front and back covers are royal blue cloth in an embossed calico grain. The blue cloth extends from the spine in a vertical stripe of 35mm thickness. At 35mm mark, taupe leather overlays the cloth. On the front cover, the word "Exodus" is imprinted in black letters of an untraditional font. It is written vertically against the edge of the book. The spine is the same blue cloth with the wod Exodus imprinted in silver. It is the same typeface as on the front cover. On the upper left corner, written lengthwise in silver is "Leon Uris" in a sans serif font in all capital letters. Additionally, in the lower right corner, "doubleday" is printed lengthwise in silver. It is also a sans serif font in all capital letters. Exodus also has a dust jacket made of glossy paper. The front and spine are royal blue. The back as well as the inside flaps are a cream which is yellowed from age. On the front of the jacket, "Exodus" is written in cream, "Leon Uris" is written in mustard, and "A Novel of Israel" is written below this. The top right corner includes the statement, "By the author of Battle Cry". Also on the cover there is a sketch of an Israeli soldier in black ink.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: LEON | URIS | EXODUS [calligraphy font] | 1958 | DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC. | GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK Verso: (in italics) Most of the events in Exodus [not Italic] are a matter of history | and public record. Many of the scenes were created | around historical incidents for the purpose of fiction. ∂ There may be persons alive who took part in events | similar to those described in this book. It is possible, there- | fore, that some of them may be mistaken for characters in | this book. ∂ Let me emphasize that all the characters in Exodus [not Italic] are | the complete creation of the author, and entirely fictional. ∂ The exceptions, of course, are those public figures men- | tioned by name, such as Churchill, Truman, Pearson, and | the rest who were related to this particular period. | Library of Congress Catalog Number 58-11328 | Copyright © 1958 by Leon M. Uris | All Rights Reserved | Printed in the United States of America | Designed by Alma Reese Cardi | First Edition
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
In 1997, Uris decided to make the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at UT Austin the ìarchival repository of his literary manuscripts.î Van Ryzin, Jeanne Claire. ìAuthor leon Uris to place his archive at UTís Ransom Centerî. On Campus, vol. 25, no.7, December 8, 1997.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
First edition: Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958. (626p. ill; 22cm.) Other editions by Doubleday: 1. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1958: "Book Club Hardcover" 626p., Size: 8vo., (8.75x6); dust jacket. 2. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1958: 656p., 2 colored maps 3. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1962: "Illustrated Edition" 676p. ill.; 25cm.; Hardcover; Size: 8vo. Black and white drawings by John Groth; octavo; paper covered boards over a black cloth spine; in a slipcase covered in the same paper as the boards. 4. Toronto: Doubleday, 1959. 5. Doubleday, 1990. Book Club Edition Cloth covers; dust jacket; decorative end pages
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
According to the September 28, 1959 issue of Publisher's Weekly, "Exodus" was, "Now in its 19th printing, with over 400,000 copies in print."
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
1. 1958 Garden City, New York International Collector's Library. 626p.; maps; 22cm. 2. 1959 New York Bantam Books According to the November 9, 1959 issue of Publishers' Weekly, "Today, Oct.5, sees publication of the Bantam paperback edition of "Exodus."" 599p.; map; 18cm. "Mass market paperback" This 1959 Bantam edition appears to have gone through several printings in 1959. This Bantam edition appears to have been reprinted in: 1960 (9th printing), 1965, 1967(34th printing) or (41st printing), 1968, 1969(37th printing), 1970(7th printing), 1974 (45th printing), 1975, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989. 3. 1977 New York Bantam "Pocket Edition" 4. November 1, 1983. New York Bantam Books "Reissue Edition" Dimensions (inches) 1.21 X 7.07 X 4.37 ISBN: 0553258478 5. London: Allen Wingate, 1959. 636 p.; map; 21cm. Blue boards, spine gilt lettered, endpaper maps, bright blue jacket. 6. London: Corgi Books, 1961. 598p.; 18cm. ISBN#0552083844 7. London: Corgi Books, 1976. "Reprint Paperback" 599pp. 8. London: Corgi Books, 1987 (Unknown if new edition or reprint) 9. London: William Kimbler, 1959. 10. London: William Kimbler, 1968. "8th Edition" 636p.; ill. 11. London: William Kimbler, 1983. "12th edition" 636p.; 21cm. ISBN#0718300300 12. London: Transworld, 1961. 13. Franklin Center, PA.: Franklin Library, 1977 "Limited Edition" 718p.; ill.; 25cm. Signed by the author Letherette binding with much gold stamping, silk endpapers, all edges gilt. 14. New York: Octopus/Heinemann, 1971 Hardcover 15. New York: Octopus/Heinemann, 1981 "Exodus; Mila 18; QB VII" 1135p.; 24cm ISBN # 0905712625 -Unknown if this is a new editon or a reprint of #14 16. Buccaneer Books, Nov. 1983 Hardcover ISBN # 1568493533 Note: No longer in print 17. Econo-Clad Books, Oct. 1999. Unknown binding ISBN # 0808515039 18. Random House Value Publishers, April 2000 608p. 19. New York: Gramercy Books, 2000 ISBN # 0517207982
6 Last date in print?
The latest printing is scheduled for April 2000. Random House Value Publishers, 608p.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
As of 1975, the total number of copies sold (hardcover and paperback combined) was 5,474,949. As of 1975, the total number of paperback copies sold was 5,000,000. (Source: Hackett, 80 Years of Best Sellers)
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
Total sales figures by year are unknown. However, the total copies sold for the weeks it was on the bestseller list are as follows: -From publication 9/23/58 to 10/29/58: 32,000 copies sold (Source: Publishers' Weekly 11/10/58) -Total sales to date 1/26/59: 68,000 (Source: Publishers' Weekly 1/26/59) -Total sales as of 1/30/59: 94,000 (Source: Publishers' Weekly 2/9/59) -Total sales as of 2/5/59: 128,754 (Source: Publishers' Weekly 2/23/59) -Total sales as of 2/24/59: 142,000 ìIt is selling at a fast clip of 2,500 a dayî (Source: Publishers' Weekly 3/9/59) -Total sales as of 3/13/59: 153,000 (Source: Publishers' Weekly 3/23/59) - ìDoubleday reports a total sale of 165,000î (Source: Publishersí Weekly 3/30/59) - Total sales as of 3/31/59: 175,000 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 4/13/59) - Total sales as of 4/27/59: 197,741 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 4/27/59) - Total sales as of 5/1/59: 225,000 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 5/11/59) - Total sales as of 5/18/59: 245,790 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 5/25/59) - Total sales as of 6/1/59: 261,891 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 6/8/59) -Total sales as of 6/8/59: 267,988 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 6/22/59) -Total sales as of 6/29/59: 299,488 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 7/6/59) -Total sales as of 7/20/59: 331,857 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 8/3/59) -Total sales as of 7/27/59: 341,503 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 8/10/59) -Total sales as of 8/17/59: 365,370 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 8/31/59) -Total sales as of 9/14/59: 374,000 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 9/14/59) -Total sales as of 9/17/59: 387,175 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 9/28/59) -Total sales as of 9/24/59: 389,331 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 10/5/59) -Total sales as of 10/26/59: 394,276 -ìFor the Bantam paperback, the original print order was increased from 1,500,000 to 2,900,000 because of an unprecedented demand from outlets that had never before carried books (PW, October 19). There are now 3,500,000 copies in print.î (Source: Publishersí Weekly 10/26/59) -Total sales as of 10/29/59: 396,900 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 11/9/59) -Total sales as of 11/13/59: Hardbound (Doubleday)=399,384 Paperback (Bantam)= almost 1,675,000 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 11/23/59) -Total sales as of 11/19/59: 400,433 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 11/30/59) -Total sales as of 12/14/59: 406,250 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 12/14/59) -Total sales as of 1/14/60: 414,686 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 1/25/60) -Total sales as of 1/28/60: 415,957 (Source: Publishersí Weekly 2/8/60) -Total sales as of 2/25/60: 419,595
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
---Doubleday placed an ad on page 43 of the 8/4/58 issue of Publishersí Weekly to advertise its soon to be published novel, ìExodusî. On the top right-hand corner of the page inside a square are the words, ìThe Doubleday best seller paradeî. Centered and justified in large italic letters are the following words: ìDestined to be one of the biggest books of the seasonñthe author of BATTLE CRY [non-italic , bold] has written a triumphant, panoramic novel of the people who gave birth to a modern nation: Israel.î Beneath this paragraph is the word, ìExodusî written in larger letters in the semi-caligraphic font that is included on the cover of the first edition. Directly underneath is written ìby LEON URISî. On the left side of the advertisement is a picture of an Israeli solder standing beside and looking at a drawing of the novel as it appears in its first editon by Doubleday. Beside this is noted, ìA major motion picture production of EXODUS is planned by Otto Premingerî. To the right of the drawing are two paragraphs, one describing Leon Uris: ìLEON URIS established himself as a novelist of tremendous power and impact with Battle Cry (italics), the story of the marine corpsñone of the prevailing passions of his life. For years his imagination has been fired by another, and even greater, theme which has now produced a story of violent human emotions even more explosive than his first smash hit. The birth of Israel as a nation is one of the most exciting events of modern timesñmiraculous in its accomplishment-amazing in its parallel to biblical history. The second paragraph states the following: ìEXODUS dramatizes these events in the saga of a handful of men, women and children whose lives converged upon a tiny strip of desert at one of the most emotion-charged moments in history. Every character in this incisive novel rings trueñfor they are the fictional counterparts of the people whom Leon Uris lived, worked and drove into battle.î Finally, in the lower right -hand corner, the advertisement states: $20,000 promotional campaign/ Coming september 18/ 640 pages $4.50/ DOUBLEDAY (in boldface capital letters). - --Doubleday placed an ad on pages 50-51 of the September 22, 1958 issue of Publishersí Weekly. This two page spread was headed by the words, ìFall titles to be especially noted*î. Underneath, in two columns per page, authors were listed, followed by the title of their work, a description of it, and itís price. The authorís names were separated by the months in which their work was due out. Listed second under September was ìLeon M. Uris (boldface)/ EXODUS (boldface) ñbig, best-selling novel of Israel/ $4.50î ---Bantam Books placed an ad on page 13 of the September 14,1959 issue of Publisherís Weekly, advertising their new paperback edition of ìExodusî. Taking up most of the page was a drawing of the paperback book. To the right of this was written, ìStill the / #1 National/ Bestseller/ at $4.50î (ì#1 is written in outlined print, much larger than the other words)/ ìAvailable October 5 at 75¢î (Written diagonally across the page in a font resembling handwriting) / ìBe sure/ you have/enough/ copies/ on hand!î On the lower-right corner of the page is a form to cut out and send to ìBantam Books, Inc. 25West 45th Street, New York 36, N.Y.î to receive the ìfree EXODUS Window Display Kitî. Left of the cut-out form is an explanation, stating: ìEach kit contains these items: ï 21-inch(easel-backed cut-out of dramatic figures from the Bantam Book cover. ïBackground poster (28î x 40î) including blow-up of book. ïTwo transparent window signs (7î x 9î). ïTwo eye-catching rack cards. ïA colorful Israeli Travel Poster.î ---Doubleday placed on ad on page 9 of the November 23, 1959 issue of Publishersí Weekly. It states, ìA modest announcement/ of interest to the trade /(which may be just as/ effective as an ad that shouts).î Underneath the above, written in paragraph form, is a narrative about Doubledayís best-sellers. The section about ìExodusî states, ìDoubleday seems to have a number of best sellers that mean Christmas business for alert booksellers. In both the N.Y. Times and the N.Y. Herald Tribune for November 15, youíll find ADVISE AND CONSENT and EXODUS in the #1 and #2 spots.î The narrative continues , describing other books published by Doubleday. At the bottom of the page, the following words are written, ìBe sure (italics) you have stock!î
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
There is an article about Exodus on page 15 of the October 26, 1959 edition of Publishersí Weekly. Although this is not meant explicitly as advertisement, it may have served as such. This article discusses how the novel has increased the numbers of Americans tourists visiting Israel.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Screenplay: -1960: Carlyle -Alpina, Otto Preminger (London) Exodus: Screenplay Book: 24 leaves, 28 cm. Typescript ìFinal, Feb 11, 1960î Author: Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. Motion Picture: ñ1960: United Artists Corp. Copyright: Carlyle-Alpina, S.A.; 15 Dec 60; LP 19762 Audiovisual Format: 28 reels of 28 on 14 (ca.19080 ft); sd., col.; 35mm Photography: Sam Leavitt Music: Earnest Gold Editior: Louis R. Loeffler Cast: Paul Newman (Ari Ben Canaan) Eva Marie Saint (Kitty Freemont) Ralph Richardson (General Sutherland) Peter Lawford (Major Caldwell) Lee J. Cobb (Barak Ben Canaan) Sal Mineo (Dov Landau) Hugh Griffith (Mandria) Gregory Ratoff (Lakavitch) David Opatoshu (Akiva) Jill Haworth (Karen) Direction, production: Otto Preminger Writing: Dalton Trumbo ñ1960: United Artists Corp. Audiovisual Same as above but different format Format: 4 reels (207min); sd., b&w 16mm. -1966: MGM/UA Home Video (Santa Monica, CA) Videocassette release of 1960 motion picture Format: 2 videocassettes (ca. 208 min); sd., col.; 1/2 in. 1992: MGM/UA Home Video (Culver City, CA) Videocassette release of 1960 motion picture Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired; hi-fi stereo; Dolby surround. ISBN # 0792802616 1992: MGM/UA Home Video (Culver City, CA) Videodisc release of 1960 motion picture ìDeluxe letter box editionî Format: 2 videodiscs (ca. 208 min.); sd., col.; 12 in. Dolby surround; digital video transfer; chapter search; extended play; digital surround; stereo; CX noise reduction; laser optical videodisc) Contains teaser trailer and original theatrical trailer. 1982: 20th Century Fox Video (Farmington Hills, MI) Videocassette of 1960 motion picture 2 videocassettes (VHS) (207 min): sd., col.; 1/2 in. 1982: 20th Century Fox Video (Farmington Hills, MI) Videodiscs of 1960 motion picture 2 videodiscs (207 min.): sd., col.; 12 in. Capacitance electronic disc system 1986: CBS/Fox Video (Livonia, MI) Videocassette of 1960 motion picture 2 videocassettes (VHS) (207 min): sd., col.; 1/2 in. 1997: Jewish Media Fund (New York, NY) 2 videocassettes (ca. 207 min): sd., col.; 1/2 in. In Series: Jewish heritage video collection; IS 174 Previously released by MGM/UA Home Video in 1996. Letter box format; Dolby surround stereo; digital vido transfer. Not rated. Musical: 1971: Ari (a.k.a. Exodus, the Musical) Produced on Broadway Book and lyrics written by Leon Uris, and based on the novel ìExodusî Music by Walt Smith (Folded after a run of 20 performances on Broadway in early 1971) 1970: [s.n.] (New York?) Recording ìAriî 1 sound disc: analog, 331/3; 12 in. ìPirated recording, probably an audition demo, of the failed Broadway musical, based on the novel Exodus, by Uris. Sung by unidentified male, with piano. JerusalemñCome and spend your life with meñA time to loveñ[Learning Hebrew]?ñThe ExodusñNo moreñDonít stand in my wayñShalom.î (Source: WorldCat) Books on Tape: 1979: Books on Tape (Newport Beach, CA) Edition: B-O-T library edition. Recording: 17 sound cassettes (235 hrs, 30 min.): analog Books on Tape:P 1297 In two containers (24 cm). Read by Dan Lazar Photograph Documentary: 1960: Doubleday Photo documentary of places mentioned in the novel Photographs by Dimitrios Harissiadis Uris wrote commentary and biographical sketch of Harissiadis
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
1958: Publisher: Sokhnut Staimatski Place: Yerushalayim Title: Eksodus: (yetsiíat Eropah): roman Format: 654p. : maps; 22cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Hebrew Exodus Yetsiíat Eropah 1958: Publisher: Pro Arte Place: New York, NY Format: 670p. : map; 22cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Hungarian 1959: Publisher:Robert Laffont Place: Paris, France Format: 685p., maps, stiff paper 1959: Publisher: Kindler Germany Place: Muchen Title: Exodus: Roman Format: 824p.; map; 21cm. Alt Title: Exodus. German 1960: Publisher: Bruguera Place: Barcelona Title: Exodo Format: 676p., [32] p. of plates: ill; 22cm. Series: Coleccion Joyas literarias Alt Title:Exodus. Spanish 1960: Publisher: Kindler Germany Format: Hardback, cloth (reprint of 1959 edition?) 1960 ? 1965: Publisher: Farlag A. Ermoni Place: Tel Aviv Title: Eksodus: (yetsies Eyrope): roman Format: 3 v. (1363p.); 18cm. Alt. Title: Exodus. Yiddish. Other: Leviton, Ber 1960 ? 1969: Publisher: Farlag A. Ermoni Place: Tel Aviv Title: Eksodus: (yetsies Eyrope): roman Format: 2 v. (864p.); 18cm. Alt. Title: Exodus. Yiddish. 1960 Editions Laffont BrochÈ Format: 687p. Notes: Traduction de Max Roth. 1961: Publisher: Laffont (reprint of 1959 or 1960 edition?) 1961: Publisher:Frankfurt am Main Place: Buechergilde Gutenberg Format: 772p., Hardcover Notes: German language edition of Exodus 1961: Publisher: Kawadeshoboshinsha Place: Tokyo Title: Ekusodasu: eiko eno dasshutsu. 1 Format 358 p.; 20cm. Other: Uris, Leon, 1924- Inukai, Michiko, 1921-Exodus 1961: Publisher: Kawadeshoboshinsha Place: Tokyo Title: Ekusodasu: eiko eno dasshutsu. 2 Format: 301p.; 20 com Other: Uris, Leon, 1924- Inukai, Michiko, 1921-Exodus 1963: Publisher: Alb. Vonniers Boktryckeri Place: Stockholm, Sweden ìSwedish hardbackî 1967: Publisher: Editorial Bruguera Place: Barcelona Title: Exodo Format: 677p., 12 leaves of plates: ill., maps, ports.; 21cm. Alt Title:Exodus. Spanish 1970? 1974: Publisher: Pilfax Pub. Co., Place: New York Format: 670p. ; 22cm. Notes: Translation from English 1973: Publisher:îKarivî Place: Tel-Aviv Title: Eksodus Format: 797p.; 19cm. Alt Title: Exodus Russian 1976: Publisher: Yeda-Sela Place: Tel-Avivi Title: Ekísodusi Format: 300p. Alt Title: Exodus. Georgian 1978: Publisher: A erh tíai chíu pan she Place: Tíai-pei shih Title: Sheng ming kan pei Format 318p.; 19cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Chinese 1978: Publisher: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag 1979: Publisher: Bruguera Place: Barcelona Title: Exodo Edition: 22. aufl. Format: 676p.; ill.; 22cm. Series: Coleccion Joyas literarias ISBN: 8402054811 Alt Title:Exodus. Spanish 1979: Publisher: Biblioteka-Aliia Place: Israel Title: Eksodus Format: 2v (797p.); 19cm. Series: Coleccion Joyas literarias Alt Title: Exodus. Russian 1980 1987: Publisher: Xuan Thu Place: Lancaster, PA Title: Ve mien dat huía = Exodus Format2v.; 19cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Vietnamese Other: The Uyen 1980: Publisher: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag Place: Munchen Title: Exodus: Roman Edition: 22. aufl. Format: 543p.; 18cm. Series: Heyne Bucher: 566 ISBN: 3453000684 Other: Gerlach, H.E. 1981: Publisher: Hao Shi Nian Place: Taibei Title: Chu-Ai-ji ji Edition: Chu ban Format: 2v.; 19 cm. Series: Ming jia ming zhu = best of best; 62, 63 Alt Title: Exodus. Chinese Other: Lin, Zi-shu 1982: Publisher: August Cesarec Place: Zagreb Format: 2v.; 21cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Serbo-Croatian 1984: Publisher: Origen-Planeta Place: Mexico, D.F. Title: Exodo Format: 668p.; 20cm. Series: Best sellers; 3 Alt Title: Exodus. Spanish ISBN: 9688470775 (pbk.) 9688470740 (pbk. : obra completa) 1984: Publisher: Editorial La Oveja Ltda. Place: Bogota Title: Exodo Format: 668p.; 20cm. Series: Best sellers; 3 Alt Title: Exodus. Spanish ISBN: 8482809032 (pbk.) 8482809008 (pbk. : obra completa) 1991: Publisher: ai Nam Place: Glendale, CA Title: Ve mien dat huía = (Exodus) Format: 2 vol. 332p.; 775p.; 21cm. Notes: Translation of Exodus. Reprint. Originally published: Saigon: Thanh Binh, 1970? Alt Title: Exodus. Vietnamese 1991: Publisher: Panorama, Severografia Place: Praha Title: Exodus Editon: 1.vyd. Format: 299 s.; 20cm. ISBN: 8070381442 (soubor; Broz.) 807038171X (Broz.) 1989 1965: Publisher: Plaza & Janes Place: Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona Title: Exodo Edition: 2a ed. Format: 778p. ; 18cm. Series: Biblioteca de Leon Uris; 2 Los Jet de Plaza & Janes; 92 Uris, Leon, 1924- Selections. Spanish; 1989; 2 Alt Title: Exodus. Spanish ISBN: 8401499321 (v. 92/2): 8401490928 (Col. Jet) 1991 1990: Publisher: Plaza & Janes Place: Barcelona Title: Exodo Edition: 3rd ed. Format: 779p. ; 18cm. Alt Title: Exodus. Spanish ISBN: 8401499321 (pbk.) 1998: Publisher: ìTekstî; ìGesharimî Place: Moskva: Ierusalim Title: Iskhod: roman v piati knigakh Format: 525p. ; 22cm. Series: Biblioteka Rossliiskogo Evreiskogo Kongressa Alt Title: Exodus. Russian ISBN: 5751600193 Exodus Jíai Lu ìin-12, br., 631pp.î ìAu pays deíExodusî
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A One might consider "Exodus Revisited" to be a type of sequel It is a photographic documentary of the places mentioned in the book "Exodus". 1960: Doubleday Photo documentary of places mentioned in the novel Photographs by Dimitrios Harissiadis Uris wrote commentary and biographical sketch of Harissiadis
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Leon Marcus Uris was born August 3, 1924 in Baltimore, MD to Wolf William Uris and Anna Blumberg Uris. The name Uris is derived from "yerushalmi", meaning Man of Jerusalem (Contemporary Authors). Both Wolf and Anna wereRussian-Polish Jews. Wolf had emigrated to the United States from Poland after WWI, first stopping in Palestine for a year, and Anna was a first-generation American (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Wolfwas primarily a Communist Party organizer, but also worked as a paper-hanger and storekeeper. Anna was an emotionallyunstable woman. Uris had one sister, Essie, with whom he had a strong relationship. Uris recalls a very unstable family life and an unhappy childhood which he believes to be partially caused by his father's Communist activities (Cain10). However, he does acknowledge that his family inspired in him his love of literature and left-wing causes. Uris started writing at 7 years old, with an "operatta" discussing the death of his dog, and continued to write stories throughout childhood (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). He always knew writing was the only career for him, stating in an interview, "?it's the only road I ever thought I could travel'" (Cain 8). Uris grew up in poor Jewish neighborhoods of Norfolk, Virginia, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. He attended Baltimore and Norfolk public schools, including Baltimore City College (a secondary school) and Bartram High School in Philadelphia (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Amazingly enough, he failed English three times, and never graduated from highschool (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). He dropped out of school at age seventeen to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. This decision worked out very well for him because the Marines provided him with comradeship and support that he had not received from his family (Cain 8). Uris served in the Marines from 1942-1945, during which he was in the South Pacific at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and New Zealand. During his service, he contracted malaria and returned to San Francisco to recuperate. It was here that he met his first wife Betty Katherine Beck, who was actually his sergeant (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm; wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). They were married 1945 and eventually had three children: Karen Lynn, Mark Jay, Michael Cady (Contemporary Authors). Uris and Betty Beck lived in San Francisco for many years following the war, where Uris worked as a circulation district manager for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin during the day and wrote in a converted attic at night (Contemporary Authors; van Ryzin). During this time, Uris submitted many articles to different periodicals, all of which were rejected until his article, "The All-American Razzmatazz", an essay on football, was accepted for the January 1951 issue of Esquire (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Uris began his serious writing in the early 1950s, and by this point, he wrote full time, often putting in 18-hour days (Contemporary Authors; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). Uris explains the inspiration behind his writing, " ?I first realized that I was going to be a novelist when I entered the Marine Corp. I said, I am gathering gold here. There is somethinghere that is so fantastic that this is the story I have to tell. Writing chose me. I didn't deliberately sit down to write a bookof my war stories. I was pushed into it because I seemed to have no other choice'" (Tischler). His long hours of writing paid off in 1953 when his first novel, "Battle Cry", was published by Putnam (Contemporary Authors). "Battle Cry" was a realistic depiction of a Marine batallion in WWII. It achieved great success because both the public and literary critics liked it, and in 1955 it was made into a film directed by Raoul Walsh (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). After the publication of Battle Cry, Uris wrote the screen play for Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which was produced by Paramount in 1957 and starred Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglass (Contemporary Authors; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). Uris was soon inspired by the journal of an uncle who had served in a Jewish unit of the British army in Greece. He used the ideas generated by this journal to produce his next novel, "The Angry Hills", published by Random House in 1955 (Contemporary Authors). This novel was made into a film directed by Robert Aldrich in 1959. In writing "The Angry Hills", Uris' attention was drawn toward the Middle East. In 1956, he proceeded to work as a war correspondent for Arab-Israeli battles, introducing him to a subject matter which he used in the creation of his next novel, "Exodus" (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). In order to prepare to write "Exodus", Uris read over three hundred books on Israel and the Middle East. Additionally, he visited Denmark, Italy, Cyprus and Iran. Finally, in March 1956, Uris chose the Accadia Hotel near Tel Aviv to be his "home base" while he traveled over 12,000 miles through Jewish and Arab towns in Israel. During this excursion, he had 1,200 interviews which provided him with notes and taped conversations which he would later use. Uris's wife Betty Beck and their three children traveled with him during this time, but left when the Sinai Campaign began. Uris concluded his travels by visiting Gaza and the United Nations refugee camps before he met up with his family in Rome. Finally, the family returned penniless to the United States where Uris began to write Exodus (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Overall, Uris spent over two years researching and writing this novel. In 1957, "Exodus", a novel about the Jews' struggle to create the nation of Israel as their homeland, was published by Doubleday (Contemporary Authors). It was a huge hit and turned out to be "the biggest bestseller in the United States since Gone with the Wind." Like his two previous novels, "Exodus" was made into a major motion picture. It starred Paul Newman. A section of "Exodus" describing the Warsaw ghetto inspired Uris to write a novel set during the Jewish uprising in the ghetto against the Nazis in 1943. In order to write this next novel, Uris traveled throughout Eastern Europe and visited Warsaw's Memorial Archives (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). Additionally, he traveled to Israel and other countries to interview Jewish survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). This novel, "Mila 18", was published by Doubleday in 1960. Influenced by the research he did for "Mila 18", Uris wrote the commentary for "Exodus Revisited", photos by Dimitrios Harissiadis, which was published by Doubleday in 1959 (Contemporary Authors). Uris was again inspired to write a novel based on current world affairs. This time it was the rebuilding of post-war Germany. Uris used this event to help shape his next novel, "Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin", which was published by Doubleday in 1964. In the same year, a German doctor, Wladislaw Dering, sued Uris and his British publisher for libel, claiming that in "Exodus", Uris named him as a Nazi doctor from Auschwitz. Dering won in court, but was only awarded a halfpenny in damages (Contemporary Authors; wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Uris continued to write, and was soon inspired by secret information about the French Intelligence Service that he received from Phillipe de Vosjoli, an exiled French diplmat at odds with DeGaulle (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). Uris used this information as a springboard for his spy novel "Topaz", which was published by McGraw in 1967 (Contemporary Authors). Publication of this novel caused a great deal of conflict in the French government. Additonally, Alfred Hitchcock asked Uris to adapt this novel into a screenplay which Hitchcock produced, but regarded as a disaster (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). After the publication of "Topaz", Uris experienced a great deal of activity in his personal life. His "?disastrous'" marriage with Betty Beck ended in divorce in January 1968 (Cain 6). Eight months later, Uris married Margery Edwards on September 8, 1968. Less than six months after the marriage, Margery committed suicide on February 20, 1969 (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). Uris claims that he felt a bit responsible for her suicide because he did not recognize the seriousness of her emotional problems ( Cain 6). After the death of his wife, Uris thought again about his trial of 1964. He constructed the semi-autobiographical story of an author charged with libel by a former Nazi doctor. This novel focuses largely on legal practices in England. Entitled "QBVII" which stands for "Queen's Bench Seven", this novel was published by Doubleday in 1970 (Contemporary Authors; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). In that same year, Uris married the photographer Jill Peabody on February 15th. Jill was 24 and Leon, 46. They were married 14 years before their first child, Rachael Jackson, was born (Cain 6). The couple went to Ireland in April 1972 with plans to spend a year. Traveling over 10,000 miles, Jill took photographs while Leon gathered facts about the people and places. This information was compiled in "Ireland: A Terrible Beauty", published by Doubleday in 1975 (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). The two also wrote another book together, and Jill acted as Uris' primary editor (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). For over ten years, Jill and Uris lived in Aspen, Colorado (Cain 7). Uris was inspired by his stay in Ireland, and claimed that he believed there were great similarities between the Irish and the Jewish struggles for justice (wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html). In 1976, Uris's next novel, "Trinity", was published by Doubleday. This novel discusses the Irish fight for independence of the 19th century by telling the story of a Northern Irish family and its dealings with a family of the British aristocracy and a Scottish family. Uris again turned his attention to the Middle East, telling the story of Israel's birth as a nation from the Arab point of view in his novel "The Haj", published by Doubleday in 1984. This novel describes lives of Palestinian Arabs from WWI until Suez War in 1956. Uris continued focusing on the Middle East, telling the story of an Israeli soldier during the Sinai War in 1956. This novel, entitled Mitla Pass was semi-autobiographical. It was published by Doubleday in 1988 (Contemporary Authors; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). Seven years later, Uris became interested in Ireland again and wrote a sequel to "Trinity" entitled "Redemtion", which relates the story of Irish struggles up through WWI. This novel was published by Harper Collins in 1995 (Contemporary Authors). Also in 1995, Uris moved to NYC following his divorce from Jill Peabody (Cain 7). In 1997, Uris decided to make the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at UT Austin the "archival repository of his literary manuscripts." (van Ryzin) This announcement did not mark the end of Uris's writing career. In fact, in 1999, Uris published another novel, "A God in Ruins" which is set on the eve of the United States Presidental elections of 2008 (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm). In addition to his novel writing, Uris has written essays for magazines such as "Esquire", "Coronet", "Ladies' Home Journal", and "TWA Ambassador", and has contributed to several anthologies. Finally, Uris does not spend all of his time writing, he enjoys skiing, tennis, trail-biking, and bowling (Contemporary Authors). Sources: Cain, Kathleen Shine. Leon Uris: A Critical Companion. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi./uris.htm (Found through Google search) "Leon (Marcus) URIS". Contemporary Authors. Gale Literary Databases. ("http://www.galenet.com/servlet/GLD/?=d&o=DataType$n=10&1=d&NA=leon+uris) Tischler, Henry. One to One (An interview) Found at: www.authorsspeak.com/uris_1195.html Van Ryzin, Jeanne Claire. "Author leon Uris to place his archive at UT's Ransom Center". On Campus, vol. 25, no.7, December 8, 1997. wysiwyg://26/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html (Found through Google search)
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
CONTEMPORARY RECEPTION: In general, critics agree that Uris's books are incredibly popular and readable. However, they criticize his writing style for technical flaws and question the historical accuracy of his information. Also, many critics have asserted that his characters are stereotypical and that he has them converse in a manner that is far from believable. Finally, many have claimed that his works have been propagandistic (Stine). Many reviewers both praise and condem "Exodus". However, others feel strongly one way or the other. Critic Dan Wakefield asserts that the characters in Exodus are types rather than fully-developed individuals. He explains that the "type-cast" characters help to unfold the plot, and that they become exciting due to the drama of the plot (Wakefield 318-319). However, Wakefield praises Uris for his success in "weaving" many important historical and political events into the plot of "Exodus" in a way that keeps the readers interested. Uris teaches readers about factual information such as the Balfour Declaration and the British White Paper right at a point in the narrative when his characters have reached "the edge of some cliff" and the readers are "hooked". Thus, the readers are more likely to read the factual information here within "Exodus" than they would be if they found it in a newspaper (Wakefield 318-319). Critic Herbert Kupferberg also gives a mixed review of Exodus. On one hand, he criticizes the novel as being "overwritten and perhapps overwrought". He states that "Exodus" is part novel, part journalism, and part history, none of which is exemplary alone, nor are they woven together without problems. He also explains that the novel's main downfall is its characters, most of whom are stereotypes. On the other hand, Kupferberg praises Exodus for being intense,"illuminating", and powerful, as well as for recalling important historical events which people have generally forgotten about, such as Cyprus camps and blockade-running voyages (Kupferberg 5). The author of a review found in the Dec ;8, 1958 issue of "Time" criticizes "Exodus" for many of the same reasons as other reviewers. First, Uris has included too much of his own Zionist propoganda, and that it undermines what he is trying to get across through his narrative. For example, Uris's over-bearing Zionist enthusiasm diminishes the Israeli's battle victories, especially because it so blatantly condemns the arabs. Secondly, this reviewer asserts that the characters are completly flat. He goes so far as to write, "His hero, Ari Ben Canaan, has all the two-dimensional sublety of a sheriff in a TV western" ("Time" 110). Finally, one can view the way Uris characterizes Kitty Freemont as displaying an underlying prejudice against gentiles. Another reviewer who criticizes Exodus's characterization is John Coleman. He asserts that Uris has devalued his subject matter by the simplistic black and white, stereotypical characters that he has employed. He calls "Exodus" and novels like it "phony documentaries" that are void of all of the "qualities of intelligence, judiciousness, and charity that make literature itself something more than an exodus from life" (44). Critic Riva Bresler has an unfavorable opionion of "Exodus", explaining that Uris has included so much historical information in the form of flashbacks that he has undermined the novel's plot development. She notes that Uris has not included enough truly exciting episodes. Additionally, she notes that his accounts of historical events such as the war with the arab states, are extremely biased and one-sided (Bresler 2443-2444). Critic Joel Blocker scathingly condemns "Exodus" for many separate reasons. First, he begins by discrediting its status as a novel, explaining that it was written with the sole intention of being turned into a movie. He tells us that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought movie rights before the book was even written, and in fact, was the organization that funded Uris's travels to Europe and Israel to do research. Additionally, Blocker claims that the novel contains many film devices such as fade-out, close-up, and montage, in prose terms. Second, Blocker criticizes the historical aspects of the novel, calling them, "?simplified and sentimentalied Jewish history, [and] large doses of Zionist publicity pamphlets?" (539). He also comments that although Uris does include small historical details, he "sacrifices genuine historical complexity for the sake of the epic-sized image" (539). Along the same lines, Blocker remarks that Uris never lived in Israel, so much of his information about it reflects myths and fantasies that Westerners have of Israel. Uris simplifies and distorts many aspects of Israel, beginning with Zionism. The picture of Zionism presented in "Exodus" leaves out the most distinctive parts of the movement. Additionally, Uris ignores the large problems of Israel's post-war development and blatantly contradicts fact when he describes the attitudes of youth volunteers to land settlements. Finally, Uris glamorizes and stereotypes the "sabra" or native-born Israeli. Some of Blocker's most scathing comments are, "?the resulting canvas contains a few of the zaniest absurdities ever associated with Israel's young generation.", "The insertions [of Biblical references] are utter nonsense, of course, but?like much of the fancifulness and plain bad writing of this book?they function very well in conveying an idea." Critic Midge Decter views "Exodus" very negatively, describing Uris as a "gifted writer of hard-core trash", and "Exodus" as a pornographic work because it debases human passions and encourages fantasy. Additionally, she assert that it derives from ladies' magazine fiction (Decter 117-119). Decter also clarifies how some readers received "Exodus". She writes, "people have claimed to be converted to Zionism, uplifted, thrilled, enthralled" (119-120). Critic Harry Gilroy has a mildly negative opinion of "Exodus". He questions the novel's historical accuracy as well as if "Exodus" can truly be considered a novel because so much of it is merely "boiled down history". Gilroy attacks the characterization in terms of how Uris has made several of his main characters, such as Akiva and Barak, into "giants" or "tarzans", exaggerating the roles they play in Israel's fight for independence. Gilroy explains that in addition to this, Uris has downplayed the roles of other important Israeli groups. Finally, he notes that "Exodus" is biased against the Arabs and the British. Although many critics solely condemn "Exodus", others mainly have positive things to say. For example, Critic Victor Haas views Exodus favorably, calling it "an enthralling book" and praising its "richness of detail" and "range of its historical content" as well as its excitement. Additionally, critic Maxwell Geismar highly praises "Exodus" because "It is a novel of social history and social cause", and this type of novel has been missing in American literature of the 1950s. He compares it to highly-acclaimed novels such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Wall", but asserts that its theme is greater and its impact "more profound" than that of the former two novels (22). Geismar states that "?Exodus' revives our spirits about humanity in general." He also writes, "No other novel I have read recently has had the same capacity to refresh our memory, to inform our intelligence, and to stir the heart" (30). However, Geismar does acknowledges that the characters are not fully developed (30). He also explains that there are "obvious faults in this narrative" (22). A FEW NOTABLE EXCERPTS: "The real achievement of ?Exodus' lies not so much in its virtues as a novel, as in its skillful rendering of the furiously complex history of modern Israel in a palatable, popular form that is ususally faithful to the spirit of complicated realities. That is no small feat." (Wakefield 319). One reviewer in the "Times" Literary Supplement states that, "Exodus is probably the most eloquent and powerful novel about the Jews written in our time." This same reviewer also wrote that, "The documentation becomes a little oppressive. So does the attitude which makes all Jews heroic figures and most of the others, British and Arabs, knaves or fools. So does the style, which involves an unconscionable number of exclamation-marks." London "Times" 433)
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
CONTEMPORARY RECEPTION: In general, critics agree that Uris's books are incredibly popular and readable. However, they criticize his writing style for technical flaws and question the historical accuracy of his information. Also, many critics have asserted that his characters are stereotypical and that he has them converse in a manner that is far from believable. Finally, many have claimed that his works have been propagandistic (Stine). Many reviewers both praise and condem "Exodus". However, others feel strongly one way or the other. Critic Dan Wakefield asserts that the characters in Exodus are types rather than fully-developed individuals. He explains that the "type-cast" characters help to unfold the plot, and that they become exciting due to the drama of the plot (Wakefield 318-319). However, Wakefield praises Uris for his success in "weaving" many important historical and political events into the plot of "Exodus" in a way that keeps the readers interested. Uris teaches readers about factual information such as the Balfour Declaration and the British White Paper right at a point in the narrative when his characters have reached "the edge of some cliff" and the readers are "hooked". Thus, the readers are more likely to read the factual information here within "Exodus" than they would be if they found it in a newspaper (Wakefield 318-319). Critic Herbert Kupferberg also gives a mixed review of Exodus. On one hand, he criticizes the novel as being "overwritten and perhapps overwrought". He states that "Exodus" is part novel, part journalism, and part history, none of which is exemplary alone, nor are they woven together without problems. He also explains that the novel's main downfall is its characters, most of whom are stereotypes. On the other hand, Kupferberg praises Exodus for being intense,"illuminating", and powerful, as well as for recalling important historical events which people have generally forgotten about, such as Cyprus camps and blockade-running voyages (Kupferberg 5). The author of a review found in the Dec ;8, 1958 issue of "Time" criticizes "Exodus" for many of the same reasons as other reviewers. First, Uris has included too much of his own Zionist propoganda, and that it undermines what he is trying to get across through his narrative. For example, Uris's over-bearing Zionist enthusiasm diminishes the Israeli's battle victories, especially because it so blatantly condemns the arabs. Secondly, this reviewer asserts that the characters are completly flat. He goes so far as to write, "His hero, Ari Ben Canaan, has all the two-dimensional sublety of a sheriff in a TV western" ("Time" 110). Finally, one can view the way Uris characterizes Kitty Freemont as displaying an underlying prejudice against gentiles. Another reviewer who criticizes Exodus's characterization is John Coleman. He asserts that Uris has devalued his subject matter by the simplistic black and white, stereotypical characters that he has employed. He calls "Exodus" and novels like it "phony documentaries" that are void of all of the "qualities of intelligence, judiciousness, and charity that make literature itself something more than an exodus from life" (44). Critic Riva Bresler has an unfavorable opionion of "Exodus", explaining that Uris has included so much historical information in the form of flashbacks that he has undermined the novel's plot development. She notes that Uris has not included enough truly exciting episodes. Additionally, she notes that his accounts of historical events such as the war with the arab states, are extremely biased and one-sided (Bresler 2443-2444). Critic Joel Blocker scathingly condemns "Exodus" for many separate reasons. First, he begins by discrediting its status as a novel, explaining that it was written with the sole intention of being turned into a movie. He tells us that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought movie rights before the book was even written, and in fact, was the organization that funded Uris's travels to Europe and Israel to do research. Additionally, Blocker claims that the novel contains many film devices such as fade-out, close-up, and montage, in prose terms. Second, Blocker criticizes the historical aspects of the novel, calling them, "?simplified and sentimentalied Jewish history, [and] large doses of Zionist publicity pamphlets?" (539). He also comments that although Uris does include small historical details, he "sacrifices genuine historical complexity for the sake of the epic-sized image" (539). Along the same lines, Blocker remarks that Uris never lived in Israel, so much of his information about it reflects myths and fantasies that Westerners have of Israel. Uris simplifies and distorts many aspects of Israel, beginning with Zionism. The picture of Zionism presented in "Exodus" leaves out the most distinctive parts of the movement. Additionally, Uris ignores the large problems of Israel's post-war development and blatantly contradicts fact when he describes the attitudes of youth volunteers to land settlements. Finally, Uris glamorizes and stereotypes the "sabra" or native-born Israeli. Some of Blocker's most scathing comments are, "?the resulting canvas contains a few of the zaniest absurdities ever associated with Israel's young generation.", "The insertions [of Biblical references] are utter nonsense, of course, but?like much of the fancifulness and plain bad writing of this book?they function very well in conveying an idea." Critic Midge Decter views "Exodus" very negatively, describing Uris as a "gifted writer of hard-core trash", and "Exodus" as a pornographic work because it debases human passions and encourages fantasy. Additionally, she assert that it derives from ladies' magazine fiction (Decter 117-119). Decter also clarifies how some readers received "Exodus". She writes, "people have claimed to be converted to Zionism, uplifted, thrilled, enthralled" (119-120). Critic Harry Gilroy has a mildly negative opinion of "Exodus". He questions the novel's historical accuracy as well as if "Exodus" can truly be considered a novel because so much of it is merely "boiled down history". Gilroy attacks the characterization in terms of how Uris has made several of his main characters, such as Akiva and Barak, into "giants" or "tarzans", exaggerating the roles they play in Israel's fight for independence. Gilroy explains that in addition to this, Uris has downplayed the roles of other important Israeli groups. Finally, he notes that "Exodus" is biased against the Arabs and the British. Although many critics solely condemn "Exodus", others mainly have positive things to say. For example, Critic Victor Haas views Exodus favorably, calling it "an enthralling book" and praising its "richness of detail" and "range of its historical content" as well as its excitement. Additionally, critic Maxwell Geismar highly praises "Exodus" because "It is a novel of social history and social cause", and this type of novel has been missing in American literature of the 1950s. He compares it to highly-acclaimed novels such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Wall", but asserts that its theme is greater and its impact "more profound" than that of the former two novels (22). Geismar states that "?Exodus' revives our spirits about humanity in general." He also writes, "No other novel I have read recently has had the same capacity to refresh our memory, to inform our intelligence, and to stir the heart" (30). However, Geismar does acknowledges that the characters are not fully developed (30). He also explains that there are "obvious faults in this narrative" (22). A FEW NOTABLE EXCERPTS: "The real achievement of ?Exodus' lies not so much in its virtues as a novel, as in its skillful rendering of the furiously complex history of modern Israel in a palatable, popular form that is ususally faithful to the spirit of complicated realities. That is no small feat." (Wakefield 319). One reviewer in the "Times" Literary Supplement states that, "Exodus is probably the most eloquent and powerful novel about the Jews written in our time." This same reviewer also wrote that, "The documentation becomes a little oppressive. So does the attitude which makes all Jews heroic figures and most of the others, British and Arabs, knaves or fools. So does the style, which involves an unconscionable number of exclamation-marks." London "Times" 433)
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Leon Uris's 1958 best seller Exodus teaches us a great deal about bestsellers in general. To begin with, it informs us that journalistic fiction is a major category of best-selling novels. Exodus can be grouped together with many other best sellers based on this common thread. For example, many of Uris's other works, as well as other best sellers published around the same time as Exodus, such as Michener's Hawaii, Drury's Advise and Consent, and Lederer and Burdick's The Ugly American, all concentrate foremost on recording the facts surrounding some political or historical event. In order to learn more about this type of best seller, as well as best sellers in general, one can analyze the recipe for Exodus. What are some of the vital ingredients in this novel? Do these ingredients seem to be part of the recipe for other best selling journalistic fiction? For best sellers in general? How are the common ingredients employed in different ways in each best seller? What does this tell us about readers? In the search for answers to these questions, we are able to closely analyze several aspects of Exodus as well as gain insight into the intriguing popularity of best sellers. Exodus belongs to the category of bestsellers known as journalistic fiction. Set in the mid-1940s, Exodus recounts the events leading up to the founding of the state of Israel. Using flashbacks and digressions, Uris describes important events such as the Holocaust and rise of Zionism, as well as instrumental political documents such as the British White Paper. One critic refers to the novel's story line as "the plot that history has already written" (Wakefield 318-319). Thus, although Exodus includes fictional characters and minor sub-plots, the historical narrative is the essence of the novel. It is clear that this is what Uris intended, considering how he went about preparing to write the novel. Critic Dan Wakefield writes that "Leon Uris?arrived in Jerusalem armed with notes, pencils, khakis, typewriter, revolver and Bible; served as a war correspondent in the Sinai campaign, traveled thorough Denmark, Italy, Cyprus and Iran, and covered more than 12,000 miles within Israel's borders to "research" the story of Exodus" (Wakefield 318). Most of Uris's other best-selling novels also fall into the journalistic fiction class of bestsellers. Critic Paul Hendrickson explains that, "Picking up a piece of territory?pouring the lava of fact?onto a runaway story, is the particular genius of Leon Uris. This is not Harold Robbins or Jackie Susann or Sidney Sheldon writing. This is someone whose passion is the sweeping historical event" (Hendrickson B3). An example of Uris's other journalistic fiction is his 1960 best seller Mila 18 which tells the story of the1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising of the Jews against the Nazis. Not only is the subject matter of Mila 18 taken from the Warsaw Ghetto scene in Exodus, but the two novels are constructed similarly with historical facts playing a central role and fiction sporadically appearing to keep the reader's attention. Additionally, Uris prepared to write Mila 18 in the same manner as he did for Exodus?He played the role of the avid journalist in search of a story. Uris did his homework: He traveled throughout Eastern Europe, visited Warsaw's Memorial Archives, and voyaged to Israel and other countries to interview Jewish survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Another Uris novel that is a member of the journalistic fiction category is his 1970 best seller QBVII. This novel relates the story of a real libel suit that took place a few years before the publication of the novel. In fact, Uris himself was the individual sued for libel. A German doctor, Wladislaw Dering, sued Uris and his British publisher in 1964, claiming that in Exodus Uris names Dering as a Nazi doctor from Auschwitz. The characters in QBVII are thinly disguised and it is obvious that the historical facts propel the novel. Leon Uris is not the only author to contribute novels to the journalistic fiction category of best seller. James Michener has produced numerous successful novels of this type. In fact, Uris acknowledges that Michener has influenced him. An interviewer of Uris writes, "he [Uris] professes an admiration for Michener's prolific research?probably greater than his own. [Uris says,] ?It's fascinating how he picks up a piece of territory' (Hendrickson B3). An example of one of Michener's works from this category is Hawaii, a best seller from 1960, just one year after Exodus reached the top of the charts. This novel tells about the history of Hawaii, beginning with the geologic evolution of the islands, and continuing up until its statehood (Lum). It too was thoroughly researched, and reviewers ? "said it was another example of ?Mr. Michener's specialty: dramatized journalism'" (Lum). The late 1950s was a period in publishing history that especially favored the journalistic fiction type of best seller. In her description of best sellers from the late 1950s, Alice Payne Hackett writes, "The modern world was decidedly replacing history as the basis for best-selling novels" (Hackett 117). Exodus certainly dealt with the modern world. In fact, it focused on the largest geo-political event to occur since the Second World War. At the time of it's publication, people were quite interested in Israel, and it is very likely that a main force behind Exodus's great popularity was the immediacy of its subject matter. Likewise, Michener's Hawaii appeared at a time when people were very curious about "the tiny islands laying in the Pacific Ocean that would join the United States" (Lum). In addition to Exodus and Hawaii, several other best sellers of the 1950s fit nicely into the journalistic fiction category. For example, Lederer and Burdick's The Ugly American hit the best seller list in 1959. This novel centered around "American diplomatic behavior in a small Southeast Asian country" (Hackett 117). Critic John Coleman compares it to Exodus when he writes about a general trend toward journalistic fiction, "?there are danger signals from across the water?the novelist is preparing to transfer his creative functions to material more properly that of the social or political historian. A few months ago we had the fictionalized indictment of US policy in the Far East, The Ugly American, and now we have Mr. Uris's mammoth novel [Exodus] about the rise of the state of Israel?" (Coleman 44). Another best seller of this type is Allen Drury's Advise and Consent, which describes the inner workings of congressional politics. Like the various other novels described above, Advise and Consent first and foremost presents the facts, but also captures the reader's interest with a collection of fictional characters. As is evident from the numerous examples cited above, many works of journalistic fiction reached the best seller lists. What can Exodus, as a work of journalistic fiction, teach us about the characteristics of this category, and how does Exodus relate to best sellers in general? First, it teaches us that journalistic fiction presents historical or contemporary facts. Many readers like to feel like they are educating themselves with the books they read. Joel Carmichael writes, "Even the most ignorant man-in-the-street can take it for granted, and rightly, that he is being given a glimpse into the raw material of recent history. It is the knowledge that the books have an authentic background that provides these books with such a strong framework for the reader's attention?" (Carmichael 87). However, the popularity of these books lies in the fact that they are not solely factual information. They include fictional characters and sub-plots to make the facts more easily digestible. Wakefield explains that the long historical narratives are always inserted at an exciting point in the plot to leave the reader hanging. Thus, the reader is motivated to plow through the drier historical sections in order to find out what happens next in the plot. Wakefield comments that readers would not read this information if it was found "in the Sunday supplement section" (Wakefield 319). Second, Exodus teaches us that best-selling journalistic fiction includes books which present a great deal of information and have a wide scope. Exodus has an extremely broad scope. One critic writes, "It's a pretty good guess that no other novel has covered so much of the historical development of Palestine as this book does" (Bresler 2443). Another exclaims, "It is, I think, an enthralling book, both for the richness of its detail and for the range of its historical content" (Haas 3). Critic Harold Ribalow explains that unlike Exodus, other Zionist novels did not become best sellers because they are "narrowly focused" (Ribalow 19). Citing Humana's Blood and Water, Ribalow writes, "But it is too deficient in scope and falls victim to its comparatively narrow vision" (Ribalow 20). He explains that it "doesn't manage to encompass the ?big picture'" (Ribalow 21). In addition to Exodus, Hawaii presents a very broad spectrum of information. Doris Lum declares that Hawaii "gives a panoramic view of the coming of four groups to the islands. The Polynesians from Bora Bora, the American missionaries, the Chinese, and the Japanese form the backbone to this epic tale. It is this epic quality that draws in readers" (Lum). Due to the fact that Exodus and other journalistic fiction include such a broad array of information, it is not possible for them to include all of the facts on each and every area of interest. Thus, the authors must pick and choose what aspects of the information they wish to present to their readers. It is often the case that journalistic fiction reaches the best seller list because the specific facts chosen happen to be biased in favor of what the reader wants to be told. For example, Exodus gives a specific image of the Zionist movement, leaving out its most distinctive aspects. Joel Blocker explains, "The history of Zionism [in Exodus]?seems like a one-way express highway: from the brain of Theodore Herzl directly to the War of Independence" (Blocker 539). Additionally, Uris simplifies the War of Liberation, like he does with many other aspects of the novel, to a simple fight between good and evil. Closely related to this is the fact that Exodus includes flat, stereotypical characters that represent social types with which the readers are familiar and comfortable. For example, Uris describes the major female protagonist. He writes, "?Katherine Freemont. She was one of those great American traditions like Mom's apple pie, hot dogs, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. For Kitty Freemont 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 beautiful swan" (Uris 4). Uris describes Katherine Freemont completely by her appearance, not bothering to inform the readers of any internal traits. Additionally, he gives no specific details about her looks such as her hair color, eye color, or stature. Rather, he describes her solely as a member of a certain stereotypical category, the all American girl. Analyzing the description further, it is clear that Uris recognizes that Katherine Freemont is a stereotype, and has intentionally described her as such. He makes this clear by including the term "cliché" twice in one sentence. The use of stereotypical characters is an ingredient which is not unique to Exodus. Rather, it is quite common in bestsellers. For example, almost every character in Eleanor Porter's Pollyanna is a social type. Miss Polly Harrington is the prototypical wealthy but stingy old maid. Porter writes, "She knew Miss Polly now as a stern, severe-faced woman who frowned if a knife clattered to the floor, or if a door banged?but who never thought to smile even when knives and doors were still" (Porter 2). An additional description is provided a few pages later, "She was forty now, and quite alone in the world. Father, mother, sisters?all were dead. For years, now, she had been sole mistress of the house and of the thousands left her by her father.?She was not lonely she said. She liked being by herself. she preferred quiet" (Porter 6). Mr. Tom is another stereotypical character, the old and faithful gardener. Porter writes, "?Old Tom, who had pulled the weeds and shoveled the paths about the place for uncounted years" (Porter 8). He is subservient, quaint, and relates stories about how things have changed over the years. Additionally, Dr. Chilton is the kind old doctor who has no family and devotes his life to his work, and Jimmy Bean is the stereotypical young orphan boy. Another best seller which depicts characters that are merely social types is Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Similar to Pollyanna, Peyton Place includes a "kindly doctor" who is an older man with a strong sense of morality. Dr. Matthew Swain, like Dr. Chilton, has no wife or children and dedicates himself to his work. A second social type in Peyton Place is Leslie Harrington, the stereotypical rich and powerful man who takes advantage of others. Metalious writes, "At the extreme western end of Chestnut Street stood the imposing red brick house of Leslie Harrington. Harrington, who was the owner of the Cumberland Mills and a very rich man, was also on the board of trustees for the Citizens' National bank and the chairman of the Peyton Place school board. The Harrington house?was the largest in town" (Metalious 20). This sentence reveals the stereotypical nature of Mr. Harrington because his house was the largest in Peyton Place, not merely one of the largest or a very large house, but absolutely larger than every other house existing in the community. Additionally, he controls almost every aspect of Peyton Place life?the education, the money, and the labor force. Later in the novel we learn that he abuses this great power, like his type of character so often does. In addition to simply sharing with Exodus the ingredient of stereotypical characters, Philip Roth's best seller Portnoy's Complaint shares something else?stereotypical Jewish characters. However, this link between Exodus and Portnoy's Complaint is quite interesting because they present two very different stereotypes of the Jewish people. Roth describes the stereotypical neurotic Jewish family?the overbearing, guilt-tripping, and force-feeding mother, the whining, unsuccessful, and unmanly father wrought with gastro-intestinal problems, the overweight and ignored sister, and the sex-crazed, guilt-ridden son who is the family's pride and joy. All of these people are depicted as pathetic and unsuccessful. In many respects, Exodus is an attempt by Uris to cry out against this stereotype of Jews. Uris asserts, " ?The lowest writers on my totem pole?are those Jewish novelists who berate the Jewish people' writers depicting ?caricatures of the Jewish people?the wily businessman, the brilliant doctor?the tortured son?the coward' ; authors ?who spend their time damning their fathers, hating their mothers, wringing their hands and wondering why they were born.' These portraits, Uris believes, are erroneous: ?We Jews are not what we have been portrayed to be'" (Downey 200-201). In his effort to correct this stereotype, he creates another?the superhuman Jewish fighter. Most of the Jews portrayed in Exodus are strong, brave characters, but one stands out as the supreme infallible warrior: Ari Ben Canaan. Uris writes, "Ari Ben Canaan was the pride of his father's heart. By the age of seventeen he was six feet tall and had the strength of a lion. Besides Hebrew and English he mastered Arabic, German, French, and Yiddish?" (Uris 272). Thus, Uris describes Ari Ben Canaan as being perfect?incredibly able, both physically and intellectually. Throughout the novel, Ari is repeatedly described as this unwavering model of perfection. His great physical stature is mentioned innumerable times. "[Ari] towered over the other two men" (Uris 22); "[Ari] was a big man, well over six feet and well built" (Uris 21); "He was large and husky" (Uris 13). Additionally, he is continually appointed as the leader of numerous fighting battalions and spy organizations. Ari Ben Canaan's endeavors never fail, and he never flinches under pressure, regardless of the situation. Why would so many best-selling authors use social types rather than unique individuals for their characters? Is it because best-selling novels are generally of low literary merit and stereotypical characters are just one aspect of an author's overall poor writing ability? Or do authors have a specific goal in mind when they use stereotypical characters? There is no one answer to this question. Each best-selling author needs to be evaluated individually to determine his or her intentions in creating stereotypical characters. However, with respect to Exodus, it seems that Leon Uris may have purposely depicted his characters this way. One reason for this may be that he wanted to emphasize the historical events and thus de-emphasized all other aspects of the novel. He may have wanted his readers to think about the actual events and follow along with the history that he unfolds, rather than become preoccupied with the inner turmoil of the characters. If readers focus on the characters, they may miss Uris's larger socio-historical lesson, the plight of the Jewish people and their triumph in creating the state of Israel. Critics Downey and Callan explain this. They write, "They [readers] are forced, on one hand, to recall the external world, given that any stereotype survives apart from its fictional life and simply mirrors and/or embellished external world preconceptions" (Downey 200-201). The tendency for authors to create social types in order to emphasize the story's action may be a key ingredient in the recipe for best-selling journalistic fiction. It is evident that not only Uris employs this strategy, but Michener as well. Deanna Zwarich, the author of the database entry on Michener's Return to Paradise, writes, "The quirks of personality, the oddities of character, the unpredictable Brownian motions of human psychology appear to interest him [Michener] little. He prefers to represent a history in action." Thus, like Uris, Michener wants the historical events to be the focal point of his novel. A second reason why Uris may have intentionally made his characters stereotypes is because they helped make Exodus into propaganda in support of the Jews. Uris wanted to inspire Americans to provide support to Israel. Thus, he created characters which were social types, but more specifically, very positive social types. His characters were divided into black and white categories?the good guys and the bad guys. All of the Jews and the Americans were the strong, brave, morally righteous individuals, and the Arabs, Germans, and British were the "bad guys." Uris portrays his Jewish characters as stereotypical heroic fighters to prove that they "are worth battling for?worth saving?because they are willing to fight and accordingly risk their lives. The stereotype assures and motivates the Jew, and ?provides the non-Jew with additional incentive to aid Israel" (Downey 200-201). Recall that Kitty Freemont, the American nurse who works at Jewish refugee camps on Cyprus, and Mark Parker, the American journalist who writes exposés about mistreatment of the Jews, are social types. Their internal states are not fully explored, and thus their external goodness prevails. Uris may have created Kitty Freemont and Mark Parker as models for his American readers to respect, admire, and most importantly, imitate (Downey 199). The stereotype of the brave Jewish warrior is such an important ingredient in the recipe for Exodus that the publishers have emphasized it in the marketing of the novel. First, the dust jacket of the original 1958 Doubleday edition depicts an Israeli soldier scaled so that it spans the entire front of the jacket. The soldier is so large that the top of his head touches the top edge of the book and the bottom of his combat boots reach the very bottom edge. Second, the front cover of a later paperback edition published by Bantam pictures a dramatic image of Ari Ben Canaan with a determined look on his face and a rifle in his hand. Next to him is a woman who presumably is Kitty Freemont (the gentile converted into a benefactor of the Jews) looking off into the distance valiantly with a rifle on her back and ammunition strapped across her chest. These two characters are framed by an overlay of the Israeli flag, making it clear that they represent Jewish warriors. Third, an advertisement for Exodus featured on page 43 of the August 4, 1958 issue of Publisher's Weekly includes not only a drawing of the first edition of the novel, clearly showing the depiction from the dust jacket described above, but transposes the exact image of the soldier again, standing in front of the drawing of the novel. Thus, the publishers want to emphasize the brave Israeli soldier. In addition to the impact of the Israeli soldier illustrations, another visual ingredient plays a vital role in Exodus's recipe. Exodus has a cinematic quality and a movie version was created shortly after its publication. Joel Blocker explains that Uris knew the novel was going to be made into a movie even before he wrote it. Blocker writes, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contracted for the movie rights and financed the author's trip to Europe and Israel to "research the story." Thus, Exodus is not really a novel at all, but a sketch for a scenario with a few prose accretions?The distinctive quality of the book is cinematic; it contains an almost exhaustive repertoire of film devices (fadeout, close-up, montage) rendered in prose terms" (539). Exodus was in fact made into a major motion picture by United Artists in 1960. It starred Paul Newman. A connection with the cinema is not only an ingredient of Exodus, but one of other best selling journalistic fiction and best sellers in general as well. For example, Doris Lum explains how the success of James Michener's Hawaii was also related to the making of a movie version. She writes, "The marketing of ?Hawaii' extended to a production of a motion picture. Hopes were high since ?South Pacific' had been so successfully transformed into another media. The movie rights were bought by the Mirisch Corporation even before the book was published for a record amount of $600,000. Articles were also published over the making of the film in "Look," with full pages of colored pictures." Additionally, Deanna Zwarich, the author of the entry on Michener's Return to Paradise, explains that Michener's "straitlaced, educational stories are so episodic that they are perfectly suited to the movie and television adaptations that have propelled Michener's success." Finally, numerous other best sellers have been made into movie versions. A prime example is the work of John Grisham. Almost all of his novels are immediately transformed into film. Many times best-selling novels have a distinct cinematic quality about them that readers like and thus the novels sell enormously well. Other times, the creation of the movie brings the book so much attention that it becomes a best seller. How this is all played out depends on the particular novel and the circumstances surrounding it. One last ingredient vital to the recipe for Exodus is a strong emotional appeal. Uris describes the events in the novel with sweeping heroic language, forcing the readers to feel the triumphs along with the characters. Additionally, he describes the tragedies that have befallen the Jews in very emotional language, making the readers feel their pain and suffer with them. For example, Uris describes scenes from the beginning of the Holocaust. He writes, "It was hard to believe that things could get worse. But the tide ran higher and higher, and the waves finally crashed onto Johann Clement's island when one day little Karen ran into the house, her face covered with blood and the words, ?Jew! Jew! Jew!' ringing in her ears" (62). Here Uris is appealing to readers' emotions strongly by describing how the Holocaust had so directly affected even an innocent little girl. Harold Ribalow addresses this issue, writing "What Exodus had in degree was passion, anger, emotion, a feeling for events, and heroic material?a woman from Iowa, in a letter to the editor of the Zionist journal?said, in effect: Never mind the literature; Exodus made me cry?and made dozens of hitherto indifferent women eager to join Hadassah" (Ribalow 19). The last portion of this excerpt explains that it was not only the emotion but the fact that the emotion inspired readers to take some sort of positive action toward personal growth. In the case of Exodus, this action may be for Jews to become more active in their culture as did the women described above, or for readers in general to provide aid to Israel. The tendency for readers to buy books which inspire them is very clear in the world of best sellers. For example, one of the most popular category of non-fiction best sellers today is the self help book. Millions of people run out to buy books which they believe will change their lives. Best sellers of this type cover a range of topics from diet and exercise to spirituality and religion. For example, a long-time best seller, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, inspires readers to change a major aspect of their lifestyle for the better. Additionally, Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking motivates people to take action in order to lead more fulfilling lives. In closing, it seems that many of the ingredients vital to Exodus's recipe are also instrumental in other best sellers, whether it be in the journalistic fiction category or not. When viewed as the entire recipe, one learns a great deal about twentieth century best sellers, and more importantly, about society of the twentieth century. It can be argued that the fast pace of modern American life is clearly reflected in this century's best selling novels. First, the incredible popularity of journalistic fiction?a wide-scope of facts presented in an easy-to-read format?illustrates that people do not have the time to travel to the faraway places described, or do not want to take the time or expend the energy to read a more scholarly text on the subject. As cited above, one critic explains that people do not have the patience to read the dense information found in a newspaper. Second, people are so preoccupied with their own problems, internal struggles, and longings that they do not want to read about them in fictional characters. Additionally, American society today is so rushed and everyone so over-worked that people do not want to have to think when they read for pleasure. Thus, readers prefer stereotypical characters who neatly fit into the distinct categories already existing in their minds. Third, the fact that movie versions of best sellers are so popular reflects the fast pace of American life. Movies take novels hundreds of pages long which would take quite a bit of time to read, and condense them into an action packed two hours. Finally, the last point about American readers' great desire for books to inspire them and the popularity of self-help books makes an important statement. At the end of the twentieth century, readers are finally realizing that their fast-paced lives take a toll on them. They have not only become physically and spiritually unhealthy, but they have grown apathetic about many important aspects of life. Although they want to reverse these trends, they are not willing to go out and take action on their own. Rather, they turn to books, for reading about self-improvement is a lot less time consuming. Sources: Blocker, Joel. "Fantasy of Israel. " Commentary. June 1959: 539-41. Bresler, Riva T. "Library Journal". September 15, 1958: 2443-2444. Carmichael, Joel. "The Phenomenal Leon Uris." Midstream 7.4 (1961): 86-90. Coleman, John. "Proper Study." "Spectator." July 10, 1959: 44. Downey, Sharon D. and Richard A. Kallan, "Semi-Aesthetic Detachment: The Fusing of Fictional and External Worlds in the Situational Literature of Leon Uris" in "Communicatin Monographs", Vol 49, no. 3, September, 1982. pp. 192-204. Hackett, Alice Payne. "Best Sellers in the Bookstores 1900-1975" Hendrickson, Paul. "Exodus to Trinity: The Impact of Leon Uris' Runaway Epics". Washington Post. May 2, 1978: B1, B3. Lum, Doris. Bestseller Database Entry on Michener's Hawaii. Metalious, Grace. Peyton Place. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1956. Porter, Eleanor. Pollyanna. New York: Puffin Books, 1994. Ribalow, Harold U. "A Look at the ?Israel Novel.'" Congress Bi-Weekly. December 25, 1961. Roth, Philip. Portnoy's Complaint. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Uris, Leon. Exodus. New York: Bantam Books, 1986. Wakefield, Dan. "The Nation" April 11, 1959. Zwarich, Deanna. Bestseller Database Entry on Michener's Return to Paradise.
You are not logged in. (Sign in)