Our Exodus: Leon Uris and the Americanization of Israel's Founding Story

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Product Details
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
6.56 X 9.76 X 0.91 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

M. M. Silver heads the general studies department at the Max Stern College of Emek Yezreel. His English and Hebrew publications on topics in Modern Jewish History include First Contact: Origins of the American-Israeli Connection. He has worked as a visiting scholar in several U.S. universities and lives with his family in the Galilee.


Silver stresses that Leon Uris's great achievement lay in awakening a sense of pride and confidence in post-Holocaust American Jewry. And Leonid (Ari) Volvosky's saga buttresses his thesis that although Israel served as the focus of Exodus, its power lay in its being able to awake an ethnic identity among diaspora Jews. Matthew Silver's achievement is in writing a masterful account that explains why and how this came about."

-- "Robert Rockaway"

...Our Exodus is an impressive book. In this comparatively small volume, Silver manages expertly to knit together the history of a book, a film, and that of their progenitor, along with American Jewish history and Israeli history, into one single coherent and very interesting narrative. Beginning the book with a quote from Yerushalmi's classic Zakhor!, Silver traces the rise and fall of an influential, albeit short-lived, collective memory: from tracing Uris' construction of a 'usable past' to chronicling its decline once its usefulness had passed, Our Exodus is a compelling history of memory and forgetting."

-- "Martin Lund"

This is an excellent, multi-layered explanation of how fiction can create history.

Our Exodus by M. M. Silver tells a riveting story that offers a convincing and incisive analysis of how Uris's book boosted the morale and pride of post-Holocaust American Jewry and spread positive images of Jewish heroism into popular American culture.

--Robert Rockaway "Journal of Israeli Studies"

Silver's critical essay strikes a healthy balance between theory, analysis, and story-telling. . . He provides a comprehensive reading experience, offering insight into the life of Leon Uris, the history of Exodus 1947, and most engagingly, the rippling, layered effect of Uris's impressive novel on worldwide Jewry. M.M. Silver delivers a clarity and intimacy rarely found in a work of literary criticism.

--Jewish Book World "Jewish Book World"