EXODUS 1947 by D.C. Holly


Email this review


Sales would be considerably less if this book were (more accurately) entitled PRESIDENT WARFIELD: Biography of a Steamboat, for it was not until she was a dilapidated old thing in her twentieth year that she was rechristened on a singularly dramatic occasion Exodus 1947. Her earlier years are notably lacking in drama, although she was once the reigning queen of Chesapeake Bay and did have one exciting transatlantic run when she was impressed into wartime transport service for Great Britain. Sufferance of the author's sentimentality is sustained only by anticipation of the steamboat's rendezvous with history. It is only when ship interest is superseded by human interest that the story catches fire, and when the old boat herself catches fire in 1952 in Haifa's harbor it is a rather in different denouement.' Thus the heart of the story is the epic exodus of the Jewish people to their Promised Land and the crux of it the heart-rending voyage of the refugee-laden ship, symbol and mining point of the Zionist straggle, which novels have elaborated, history has celebrated, and journalism has exaggerated. Holly captures well, with constant sympathy but commendable disapassion, both the ardor and the bitterness which surrounded the Exodus affair.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown