Exodus by Leon Uris had a far-reaching effect on Soviet Jews. In this book, many of us encountered for the first time a positive image of Jews – warriors, rather than helpless victims. Uris’s characters aroused strong feelings of affinity, and inspired national pride.
The book was perfectly in tune with our own search for a renewed Jewish identity. We felt that our struggle was becoming an essential part of a sweeping historical process – the ingathering of the exiles and the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in our ancient land.
A significant number of copies of Exodus were smuggled into the USSR over the years and made a profound impact on the hearts and minds of thousands of Soviet Jews.