Friday, 5 December 2008


Leon Uris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976


Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland the son of Jewish-American parents Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish-born immigrant, was a paperhanger and then later a storekeeper. William spent a year in Palestine after World War I before entering the United States. He derived his surname from Yerushalmi, meaning "man of Jerusalem." (His brother Aron, Leon Uris' uncle, took the name Yerushalmi) "He was basically a failure," Uris later said of his father. "He went from failure to failure."

Uris attended schools in Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, but never graduated from high school, having failed English three times. At the age of seventeen Uris joined the United States Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific as a radioman at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and New Zealand from 1942 to 1945. While recuperating from malaria in San Francisco, he met Betty Beck, a female Marine sergeant. They married in 1945.

In 1950, Esquire magazine bought an article from him and this encouraged him to work on a novel. The result was the best seller Battle Cry, graphically showing the toughness and courage of U.S. Marines in the Pacific and The Angry Hills, a novel set in war-time Greece.

As a screen writer and a newspaper correspondent, he became intensely interested in Israel which led to his best-known work, Exodus, which is about Jewish history from the late 19th century through the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Exodus was a worldwide bestseller, translated into a dozen languages, and was made into a feature film in 1960, starring Paul Newman, as well as a short-lived Broadway musical (12 previews, 19 performances) in 1971.

Later works include Mila 18, a story of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, which reveals the detailed work by British and American intelligence services in planning for the occupation and pacification of post WWII Germany, Trinity, an epic novel about Ireland's struggle for independence, QB VII, a chilling novel about the role of a Polish doctor in a German concentration camp, and The Haj, with insights into the history of the Middle East and the secret machinations of foreigners which have led to today's turmoil.

He also wrote the screenplays for Battle Cry and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Leon Uris died of renal failure at his Long Island home on Shelter Island, aged 78.[2]

Uris was married three times. First with Betty Beck in 1945, with whom he had three children, and divorced in 1968, then with Margery Edwards in 1969, who died of an apparent suicide a year later, and finally with Jill Peabody in 1970, with whom he had two children, and divorced in 1989. They remained friends.


In some of his books a likeable character is associated with the number 359195: for example, Danny Forrester's (Battle Cry) and Clinton Loveless' (Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin) service numbers and the number tattooed onto Dov Landau's (Exodus) forearm as his registration number in Auschwitz.

He was born on the day on which Joseph Conrad died. Both writers had strong Polish connections.

He was known for his long epic novels. In one episode of The Simpsons, Cletus uses one of his books to crack open the shell of a turtle, saying "Nothing cracks a turtle like Leon Uris".

Selected titles

Battle Cry, 1953
The Angry Hills, 1955
Exodus, 1958
Exodus Revisited, 1960 (GB title: In the Steps of Exodus)
Mila 18, 1961
Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin, 1963
Topaz, 1967
The Third Temple (with Strike Zion by William Stevenson), 1967
QB VII, 1970
Ireland, A Terrible Beauty, 1975 (with Jill Uris)
Trinity, 1976
Jerusalem: A Song of Songs, 1981 (with Jill Uris)
The Haj, 1984
Mitla Pass, 1988
Redemption, 1995
A God in Ruins, 1999
O'Hara's Choice, 2003

See also


1^ "Author Leon Uris Dies at 78" The Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle Telegram, June 25, 2003, page A8.
2^ Leon Uris Biography at

External links

Inventory of Leon Uris novel and screenplay manuscripts and other documents PBS Documentary Film focusing on the secret American involvement in real life Exodus, narrated by Morley Safer
vdeWorks by Leon Uris

Battle Cry (1953) ♦ The Angry Hills (1955) ♦ Exodus (1958) ♦ Mila 18 (1961) ♦ Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin (1963) ♦ Topaz (1967) ♦ QB VII (1970) ♦ Trinity (1976) ♦ The Haj (1984) ♦ Mitla Pass (1988) ♦ Redemption (1995) ♦ A God in Ruins (1999) ♦ O'Hara's Choice (2003)

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December 4, 2008

Exclusive: CRC Open-Source Intelligence Briefs

Maj. W. Thomas Smith Jr., Director of the Counterterrorism Research Center

MUMBAI, INDIA: According to a piece by Robert Spencer in Human Events, the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai reaffirmed not only India’s “unpreparedness” in terms of effectively confronting – much less thwarting – Jihadist terrorism, but America and the broader West’s inability to even understand “Jihad.”

Spencer writes: “The primary reason for this unpreparedness, of course, is the unwillingness or inability of government, law enforcement, and the mainstream media to confront the ideology of the jihadists and the Islamic doctrines that provide the foundation for that ideology. … ‘We have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam.’ So wrote the Kuwaiti columnist Khaled al-Jenfawi.”

SOMALIA: As I’ve often said, pirates on the high seas prefer targeting freighters more so than cruise ships for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are:

Cruise ships are considered more difficult to board than freightersToo many passengers to control aboard cruise shipsImproved counterpiracy and counterterrorism technologies employed by luxury liners since 2005Better trained shipboard security forces

Pirates are also considered to be territorial creatures, rarely striking targets beyond 200 nautical miles from the pirates’ coastal bases.

Both beliefs however were turned on their heads recently when pirates attacked a cruise ship this week, and in mid-November struck a freighter some 450 miles off the coast of Kenya (but “almost a thousand miles from their home ports,” according to Africa expert Dr. J. Peter Pham in a telephone call last week.)

Also – despite widely held beliefs about the relationship between pirates and Islamist terrorists – experts are pointing to credible intelligence indicating increased collaboration between pirates and Islamists (details here and here).

LEBANON: U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, CENTCOM commander, met this week with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Lt. Gen. Jean Kahwaji, commander-in-chief of Lebanon’s armed forces.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut: “The discussions focused on the United States’ continued assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces so it can maintain peace and stability, and safeguard the Lebanese people. The U.S. Government has provided over $410 million in military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces and it will continue to support the legitimate institutions of the Lebanese government and the Lebanese people as they seek to preserve their independence and security.”

Meanwhile, the Lebanese leadership continues to bow to the will of Iran, Syria, and Hizballah (details here, here, here, here, and here).

— Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr. at

taken from B'NAI ELIM (

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