Based on the story of the ship the Exodus taking refugees from Cyprus to Palestine, the book also tells the broader story of Britain’s role in the middle east and of the birth of Israel. A couple of love stories, combined with the dramatic political events, make it a compelling novel as well as a rich portrait of this pivotal time.

The book was published in 1958, when Israel was only a decade old. It was an international bestseller and had a major influence on the perception of Israel in the U.S.

The book has been criticized by some Arab observers as being Israeli propaganda and a distortion of history. It depends, no doubt, on one’s perspective; Exodus is told unashamedly from an Israeli perspective, and it does paint a largely negative view of the Arab world.

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