Uris, Leon: Mila 18
(researched by Kate Hudson)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Uris, Leon: Mila 18. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961. Copyright 1961 by Leon Urin. (first edition)

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first American edition published in trade cloth binding. (first edition)

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

287 leaves, pp. [13]2-112[113]114-282[283]284-374[375]376-539[5] (first edition)

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

The book is not edited or introduced. There is a list of other books written by Leon Uris. (first edition)

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There is only one illustration in the text. It is on the backside of the front page. It is a black and white plate drawing of a man facing away from the illustrator and holding a gun by his side. (first edition)

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

Type Size: 84R Page Size(height x width): 11.6cm X 10.5cm Height x width of full page of text: 20.1cm X 13.0cm The text is centered towards the middle and top half of the page which makes it difficult to read at times. The title pages are all top and left centered. The print is fairly easy to read with no cracking or wear. (first edition)

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper is very discolored, thin, and yellowing. The bottom of the pages are discolored by a water mark covering one fourth of the paper. (first edition)

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding is a black, strong, linen textured cloth. The following is embossed on the spine in gold: Mila 18 1cm Uris 7.2 cm 1961. The endpapers are white with the water stain discoloring. (first edition and Gaskell)

12 Transcription of title page

Recto: Mila 18/ Leon Uris/ Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1961 (first edition)

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

Information Unavailable (RLIN, WorldCat)

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

Dedication on page 9 unnumbered: This book is dedicated to/ ANTEK-ITZHAK ZUCKERMAN/ ZIVIAH LUBETKIN/ and the others who participated in an immortal moment in behalf/ of human dignity and freedom, and to one in particular/ DR. ISRAEL I. BLUMENFELD. On page 12 unnumbered: Acknowledgements/past experience forewarned me that I would be dependent upon/ the assistance of tens of dozens of individuals and organizations/ to research this book. Again, I was fortunate to be the recipient of/ selfless hours by those who transmitted to me their knowledge of/ this subject./ Without the devotion of the Ghetto FIghters House International/ Museum and Shrine, the individual members of the Ghetto Fighters/ Kibbutz in Israel and their comrades in the International Survivors/ Association, these pages could scarcely have been written./ Sheer weight of numbers precludes my thanking the others, but I/ would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the contribution of the/ Yad Vashem Memorial Archives in Jerusalem and the University/ of Southern California Library./ Within a framework of basic truth, tempered with a reasonable/ amount of artistic license, the places and events described actually/ happened./ The characters are fictitious, but I would be the last to deny there/ were people who lived who were similar to those in this volume./ Leon Uris (first edition)

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

N/A Source: Publisher's Weekly, Eureka (RLIN catalog), National Union Catalog

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

one Source: Publisher's Weekly, National Union Catalog

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

New York: Bantam, 1983, 1985, 1961, 1962 563 p. ; 18 cm. New York: Bantam, 1977, 1980 563 p. ; 19 cm. New York: Octopus/Heinemann, 1981 1135 p. ; 24 cm. (includes Exodus and QB VII) Source: WorldCat

6 Last date in print?

February 2000 Source: International Books in Print, Books in Print

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

For 1961, Hackett reports that Mila 18 was fourth on the best sellers list with 134,397 copies sold. Publisher's Weekly reported sales as of 8/25/61 as 112, 811 and in August 1961 reported that percentages for August were .53, for July were .572, and for June were .285. These were the first three months that the book was on the market. Source: Hackett's 80 Years of Best Sellers, Tebbel's A History of American Publishing, Mott's Golden Multitudes, Publisher's Weekly, Justice's Bestseller Index, Bowker's Annual, History of Book Publishing in the United States, Tanselle's Guide to the Study of U.S. Imprints, Kurian's Directory of American Book Publishing.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

See question #7. Same sources as above.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

As seen in Publisher's Weekly: "Another Doubleday Candidate for the Best Seller List...Leon Uris's Mila 18. An unforgettable novel of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising by the author of Exodus. June 16. 576 pages, $4.95." "MILA 18 is Leon Uris' most powerful, most compassionately personal novel. Inspired by the heroism of the small band of Warsaw Ghetto Jews who fought off the German army for 42 incredible days and nights, he has written an unforgettable epic with all the conviction and drama of Exodus. Mila 18 was the house inside the walled ghetto which served as the command post for the men and women who gave their lives in a desperate struggle which inspired the free world. Mila 18 is the story of Andrei Androfski, Polish cavalry officer who knows that the only hope for his people is to strike back at the Nazi butchers of Gabriella Rak, who loves him and chooses to remain in Warsaw rather than return to America and her Catholic famly; of Alexander Brandel, scholar and pacifist, who was determined to save his people by not resisting the Nazis... Mila 18 encompasses the collective tragedy of over one half million victims of the Warsaw Ghetto on a scale so huantingly personal that it is destined to become a lasting symbol of man's courage and eternal struggle to remain free." "In fact (and in fiction) it's Doubleday all year long. In June it's Leon Ursi with a major novel of the great Warsaw uprising." "Mila 18 Leon Uris. Doubleday, $4.95 Mr. Uris has bravely plunged into territory that a good many readers may feel belongs forever to John Hersey, author of "The Wall". "Mila 18" is a long sweeping novel of the horrors of the Warsaw ghetto which was wiped out by the Germans during World War II. There are dozens of characters and an enornmous amount of dramatic action and suspense. It is a less moving book, perhaps, than "The Wall," with which it is inevitably going to be compared by reviewers. It is also less distinguished. There can be very little doubt that it is going to be a best seller." Publisher's weekly reports, "Major promotion planned: national ads, posters, streamers, slit cards, coop ads, radio spots, personal appearances, and important local and national publicity." "Promotion will be very extensive as befits a new major novel by the author of "Exodus." $25,000 initial advertising." Source: Publisher's Weekly

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

"Special advertising in Jewish media. Posters and slit cards. Two different size co-op ad mats available on a 75/25% basis." Source: Publisher's Weekly

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

N/A Source: Salem's A Guide to Critical Reviews, Magill's Survey of Cinema, Gale Literary Databases.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

Sweden: Forum, 1961 556 p.; 22 cm. Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona): Plaza & Janaes, 1986, 1992 670 p.; 18 cm. Barcelona: Bruguera, 1961, 1967, 1974 558 p. ; 22 cm. Barcelona: Bruguera, 1966, 1980 670 p. ; 18 cm. London: Heinemann, 1972, 1961 539 p. ; 21 cm. London: Heinemann, 1961 539 p. ; 20 cm. Taipei: Huang kuan ch'u pan shae, 1982 541 p. ; 21 cm. London: Transworld Pub., Ltd. 1963, 1961 478 p. ; 18 cm. Muchen: Kindler, 1961 780 p. Grafisk Forlag [Norwegian] 1961 519 p. ; 23 cm. Meuchen, W. Heyne 1974, 1961 780 p. Buenos Aires: Emecae Editores, 1987 503 p. ; 20 cm. Budapest: Interpress, 1990 601 p./ 18 cm. Zeurich: Schweizer Druck-und Verlagshaus, 1961 636 p. ; map ; 23 cm. Source: WorldCat, Eureka (RLIN)

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

N/A Source: Publisher's Weekly, Cumulative Periodicals Index

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

N/A Source: Publisher's Weekly, Gale Literary Databases.

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Of all of the events which shaped Leon Uris's life and works, his military and wartime service in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942- 1945 seems to have been one of the most influential. Uris joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the ripe age of 18 during World War II. The events of his stay inspired several of his novels, including his fourth novel, "Mila 18". "Mila 18", published in 1961,is a story about the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. "Mila 18" couples Uris's passion for World War II and his fascination with the predicament of the Jews in the twentieth century. In order to best depict the Jew's story, Uris called upone his travels to Europe, Israel, and the Middle East with his family. Through these interrogations, Uris conducted over 1,200 interviews. This information was originally used for his novel "Exodus", which was published by Doubleday in 1957. (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/uris.htm) This theme of exploration of subcultures within a dominant culture appears to be a common theme in Uris's novels. Perhaps this fas- cination was inspired by Uris's own subculture--that of a poor son of jews with a Russian-polish origin. Having struggled all of his childhood, Uris may have felt some connection with the alienation of Jews in Europe. Uris's following novel "Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin" can be seen as an extentuation of "Mila 18" in that it continues the discussion of Germany with its postwar rebuilding. This novel marked Uris's new type of novel which examined current events and served as the end of Uris's reflective novels rehashing the events involved in World War II. used: THe Gale Net Research Group wysiwyg://32/http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.htr Cain, Kathleen Shine. Leon Uris: A critical companion. westport,ct; greenwood press, 1998.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

While appealing to the public, the general contingency among literary critics regarding Leon Uris's novel "Mila 18" voiced dissatisfaction. To put it bluntly, Christian Century calls "Mila 18" a "surface and shoddy performance" that "turns a tragedy into a melodrama"(Christian Science Monitor). Mila was regarded as poorly written, over-dramatic, and superficial. Most critics complained that Uris was too lugubrious, and wrote with passion instead of prose. Critics accused Uris of commercializing the Warsaw Jewish uprising and appealing to popular American culture. As a critic in the American Jewish Committee says, "Uris has for the first time brought off genuine trash about Jews?he has created the possibility of seeing Jews not as the troublesome and incomprehensible heroes?but as heroes that the middle-class dream life has conditioned"(American Jewish Committee). Time and time again, critic after critic, accusing Uris of making the Jewish terror into a sub-standard movie. In fact, a London Times critic says that the novel conjures up memories of "hours of dialogue of bad movie time". Critics also compared Uris's novel to that of Hersey's "The Wall" because they shared similar stories. Unfortunately, most critics did not hold Uris in as much esteem as Hersey. Uris's novel was perceived as "broader in scope and perhaps less penetrating in individual characterizations than Hersey's The Wall but nonetheless moving and grimly compelling"(Chicago Sunday Tribune). Other critics were not so complimentary. The New York Herald Tribune says that Uris's novel "falls short of the excellence of The Wall". Critics also complained about the similarity of the two novels saying that "the chief obstacle with reading Mila 18 is the reader's own memory. The novel all but duplicates John Hersey's The Wall". Uris's novel is also regarded as "a kind of theatricality, a stage catch-up"(Time) in comparison to the Wall. While the Wall was gray and meticulous, Mila 18 was long and boring. In conclusion, the novel was well received by the public or at least like enough to be a bestseller. People were drawn to the morose and, at times, sensually pornographic images. But, critics regarded Uris's prose as elementary and simplistic. To them, his writing was cliché which only goes to show that bestsellers are determined by the people that buy them, not the people that critique them. NY Times Atlantic 208:94 August '61 270w Bookmark 20:213 June 15, 1961 Chicago Sunday Tribune June 18, 1961 Christian Science Monitor June 22, 1961 Kirkus April 15, 1961 Library June 15, 1961 NY Herald Tribune June 4, 1961 NY Times BK June 4, 1961 San Francisco Chronicle June 4, 1961 Springfield Republican June 9, 1961 Time June 2, 1961 London Times October 27, 1961 American Jewish Committee October, 1961

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

None Available. Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature New York Times Book Review Index Book Review Digest http://firstsearch.dedip.oclc.org/html ACQ Web Twentieth Century Literary Criticism CLC

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Bestsellers are a way of monitoring society and learning about what interests popular culture. Additionally, bestsellers reflect the current events which shape and form the average person. "Mila 18" is a novel that covers many categories for bestselling novels and reflects a society desiring to examine the unspoken undercurrents of culture. Among these undercurrents festers adultery, violence, war, and discrimination. "Mila 18" also exemplifies an author who has managed to develop his own brand name. By examining the bestseller categories into which "Mila 18" falls, we come to a better understanding of what intrigued popular culture during the 1960s and what it took to be a bestseller during such a turbulent time. "Mila 18" was Leon Uris's second bestseller. His first entry on the bestseller list had occurred two years prior with his novel "Exodus", a novel about the Jews' struggle to create the nation of Israel as their homeland. "Exodus" was so successful that it was made into a movie starring Paul Newman the following year. The movie was called "the biggest bestseller in the United States since "Gone with the Wind"". Through this novel and its respective movie, Uris developed a following that helped the success of several of his subsequent novels. On the bestseller list, "Mila 18" was followed by "Armageddon" in 1964, "Topaz" in 1967, and "QB VII" in 1970. His books were marketed as "Leon Uris's new novel". His name became a brand and, apparently, a brand that sold well. Uris was known for his plot driven novels with blood, sex, and gore. "Mila 18" was no exception to this rule. Additionally, Uris was known for his meticulous research skills. His novels were praised for their historical accuracy despite some creative leave. Thus, "Mila 18" represents a bestseller influenced by its author's previous works. While researching "Exodus", his first bestseller, Uris developed his platform for "Mila 18". As an action-packed drama, "Mila 18" was a hit with American readers, which they had come to expect from Uris. "Mila 18," however, did not fair as well with literary critics. Accused of being poor written, over-dramatic, and superficial, "Mila 18" was viewed by literary critics as "a surface and shoddy performance"(Christian Science Monitor). Scholars thought that Uris's representation of the Warsaw uprising "turns a tragedy into a melodrama"(Christian Science Monitor). But, this melodrama was apparently one that sold. Therefore, a bestseller did not necessarily have to be of the utmost literary quality to sell quantity. "Mila 18" can also be used as a case study in popular 1960s fiction. "Mila 18" was introduced to readers during a time of change and confusion on the brink of the sixties. The strict structure of the fifties was giving way to new ideas and challenges to societal norms in the sixties. The sixties marked the beginning of the civil rights movement and the recognition of special interest groups. Subcultures and minorities were celebrated and explored. Books like "I Heard the Owl Call My Name," a story about Native Americans, and "The Chosen" were included on bestseller lists in the sixties. Examining the plight of Jewish peoples during the Holocaust and World War II, "Mila 18" was part of this new genre of books celebrating and exploring subcultures. "Mila 18" was also part of the post World War II genre of books from the fifties on that focused on World War II and the Holocaust. This type of book may have been popular because of nostalgia for the past and as a backlash against the Cold War and communism. For example, a bestseller in both 1958 and 1959 "Dr. Zhivago" details one man's struggle during the Holocaust in Russia. Porter's "Ship of Fools" is another World War II novel about a ship entering enemy waters during the war. This fascination with World War II can also be seen in the movies. Among the popular movies during the sixties were such as the 1964 production of "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold," a movie about a spy in World War II. The prevalence of World War II films and novels may have been related to the anti-Communist movement following the Cold War. On going problems with the Soviet Union and fear of totalitarian government also fueled this interest in anti-Communist movements such as World War II. With its anti-Nazi, anti-German sentiments, "Mila 18" was subvertly poking at communist forms of government while not explicitly saying that it was doing as much. Another World War II type bestseller of the sixties was Muller's novel "The Tropic of Cancer," a biography detailing one man's experiences in World War I & II. The biographical novel, fictional or real, was another popular bestseller genre that also encompasses Uris's novel. Uris's novel was told mostly through third person omniscient and detailed the lives of several of the Jews in Warsaw, but concentrated on the story of Alexander Brandel as told through his journals and first person narrative. Other examples of fictitious autobiographies with historical bases include "Up the Down Staircase" by Bel Kautman and "The Confessions of Nat Turner" by Styron. These novels are historical autobiographies. Such movies as "Cleopatra" and "Moses" were popular during the 1950s. This style of personalized history continues the historical movement. It seems that people wanted to learn about history, but enjoyed the pleasure of fantasy that movies and books allowed. "Mila 18" teaches that people are fascinated with the human condition during all eras of history and in all walks of life. While alternative in some respects, "Mila 18" was also very stereotypical. The characters in his novel played out typical male-female cat and mouse games. The men were portrayed as strong and powerful and the women as either innocent maidens or sexual temptresses. These stereotypical roles reflected the very gender conscious post-war climate of the fifties. With men back from war, women returned to the home and the separation of gender spheres was emphasized once again. Shows like "Father Knows Best" emphasized the male-dominant, nuclear family. Underlying these perfect families were unspoken affairs and difficulties. The popularity of such novels as "Dr. Zhivago" and "Peyton Place" with their torrid affairs and explicit sex scenes revealed underlying tension beneath the plasticity of the fifties family. The same readers that enjoyed the risqué divulgence of "Peyton Place" were fascinated with the blatant adultery and premarital sex in "Mila 18". Nearly every twenty pages there was at least one sexual encounter of sorts. Typically, the affairs would be described fairly explicitly and came close to soft pornography at times. Books like "The Joy of Sex" that became popular in the sixties reflected a growing fascination with sexuality. Additionally, the "Mila 18" challenged the straight laced morals of family. There were no happy married couples in the novel. The only family that was focused on involved an alcoholic husband with an unfaithful wife who was cheating with her husband's best friend. All three of the romantic couples in the novel were unmarried and expressed no desire to marry. In fact, one couple refused to get married. Thus, "Mila 18" was a definite breach from the nuclear family in "Leave it to Beaver" or "Father Knows Best". As a bestseller, "Mila 18," its moral indiscretions and explicit sex scenes reveals the fascination with the abomination--people like sin. Critics complain that "Mila 18" lacked character development and that Uris's writing style was too simplistic. "Mila 18" was vastly popular with its readers, however. This popularity can be attributed to its simplicity. A number of books that hit the bestseller list during the sixties were not known for their literary value or complexity, including West's "Daughter of Silence" or Lindbergh's "Dearly Beloved". Previous authors and books, like "Pollyanna," further emphasize the popularity of simple novels. Even authors today like Danielle Steel and Stephen King are known for being easy reading and have excellent sales. Uris and popular writers like him wrote in terms that could be understood by a large audience. While the characters portrayed were stereotypical, they were also familiar. The fact that they were Jewish under siege during the Holocaust did not make them any less identifiable to its readers because the characters were stereotypes that could be found in any community or piece of literature. For example, Uris's character Andrei Androfski played the typical strong dominant male, described as "indeed the cut of the classic figure" with "leg muscles fairly ripping through his trousers." A ladies man, Andrei "returns the smiles and flirtations of young lady strollers." Andrea is the leader of the Jewish uprising and is portrayed as the moral guidepost when other member of the Zionist movement grow weary. While Uris gives stock descriptions of his characters, he does not go in depth to explain why his characters are the way they are. They are developed through conversation and description. Their inner thoughts as described by the omniscient narrator do little more than describe the character's inner voice detailing his/her future actions. The characters are not portrayed in inner debate or self-development. If Uris's characters are portrayed as complex, they are complex in a manner that can be explained in a short paragraph. For example, Uris explains the complexity of one side character in less than one sentence: "Schreiker's mediocrity left him with two divorces and four children and debts and alcoholic tantrums"(118). The reader does not have to figure the characters out for him or herself. Rather, the necessary information is readily given to them. Even Alexander Brandel's journal does not include much personal information. Instead, the journal serves as another way to recount the current events. By eliminating the complexity of his characters, Uris allows his readers to concentrate more on the action of the novel and the driving force of events. Thus, "Mila 18" teaches that readers of bestsellers were reading for pleasure and action rather than complexity of characters and depth. The popularity of this novel and other bestsellers may be related to the book's lack of plot complexity. "Mila 18" is an easy read that does not involve a convoluted plot. Chronologically arranged, the novel flows from start to end with a logical culmination. The ending is expected and conveniently falls into place. Of course, the Jews lose but only after a significant battle, death, blood, gore. The novel ends with a journal entry by Alexander Brandel and delineates what exactly happened to all of the characters. Uris solves the adulterous affair in the novel by having the husband kill himself so that the wife is free to pursue her true love. The Germans make a number of convenient mistakes that make the Warsaw uprising plausible for such an unlikely battle between two very unequal forces. The plot twists and turns are extreme at times, highly implausible, but still entertaining. But, the cause of the underdog and the perseverance of the Jews in the face of defeat is uplifting, especially to a nation facing the possibilities of Vietnam. All loose ends are tied and the reader can finish the novel and feel as if the story is complete. By tying all of the loose ends, "Mila 18" and other bestsellers like it give their readers an experience. It is an experience that can be stepped into and back out of. Reading bestsellers like "Mila 18" and ones similar to it were popular because they were a catharsis. They were an experience to be had in and of themselves and appealed to the general public because they could be used as an escape. While "Mila 18" did not necessarily have a happy ending, it did have a resolved ending--another genre of novels. As a bestseller, "Mila 18" provides insight into what sells and what audiences are looking for in their reading experiences. Readers of the sixties wanted some sort of escape from the strict morals and structures of the fifties. Scandalous affairs and open sexuality were a reaction against the plasticity of the fifties. "Mila 18" and its simple sentence structure, character, and plot design also denotes a reader that does not want complex reading, but is rather reading for pleasure and diversion. Readers in the sixties wanted a novel that would distract them from the pending Vietnam war. Additionally, novels like "Mila 18" that examined a subculture of society reveal a nation of readers that is beginning to recognize minorities. The Civil Rights movement opened the eyes of many Americans to discrimination. The Holocaust and World War II portrays discrimination at its worst and serves as a reminder to those that were inspired with the civil rights cause. "Mila 18" also reflects the importance of good marketing for bestseller materials. "Mila 18" was branded with Uris's legacy and was probably influenced by the popularity of his previous novel "Exodus". And, finally, "Mila 18" reflects the importance that bestselling authors should place on knowing what his/her audience wants and how the times are affecting his/her interests. "Mila 18" appealed to a society undergoing change, challenging norms, and exposing discrimination. As "Mila 18" demonstrates, bestsellers are novels which have touched the core elements of people and appealed to their inner desires.

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