Critical Context

Exodus is both a timely and a timeless novel. Its plot is set within a turbulent series of political and military events of the 1940’s. These historical incidents have ongoing repercussions, and Israel continues to struggle to survive against enemies at the borders, terrorist attacks, economic problems, and political change. It presents in popular terms and readable prose the struggle of the Jewish people, the birth of a new nation, and the realization of a two-thousand-year-old dream. Critics have deplored its expansiveness and excess exposition, which tend to impede the progress of the story; it is admittedly a didactic novel, written in praise of Israel and the Jews while denouncing Israel’s opponents roundly, and it has secured sympathy and support for Israel by appealing to the conscience of the world. Critics agree generally that it is Leon Uris’s most important book, and its popular appeal is unquestionable.