Rampant antisemitism within the Soviet government, coupled with the Soviet's support of Israel's enemies, meant that Uris' book was banned in the USSR. But Israeli embassy staff smuggled copies into the country soon after the book was published and eventually is was translated into Russian by underground groups.
The next year, his life would change forever with the explosive reception to "Exodus," which, according to Nadel, sold more copies that any other American book beside "Gone With The Wind" and topped The New York Times best-seller list for a full five months. As of two years ago, it had never been out of print, going through 87 printings and appearing in 50 languages. "Exodus" also had a particularly galvanizing effect on Russian Jews in the latter years of the Soviet Union, where it was declared illegal and distributed underground.