Who's Who in Jewish History: After the Period of the Old Testament

By Joan Comay | Go to book overview

UV

UNTERMEYER, Louis

1885-1977. American poet. Untermeyer grew up in Newark, New Jersey and dropped out of high school. He was a prolific anthologist and his collections include Modern American Verse (first edition 1919) and Modern English Poetry (first edition 1920). Among his other books were Makers of the Modern World (1954) and Lives of the Poets (1959). He knew all the major literary figures of the twentieth century and his fifty-year correspondence with Robert Frost was published in 1963.


URIS, Leon

b. 1924. US novelist. Leon Uris, a resident of Baltimore, wrote his first novel, Battle Cry (1953), after he came back from service with the US Marines in World War II. His next book was the phenomenal best-seller, Exodus (1957), relating the historical events leading to the birth of the State of Israel. This was followed by a film of the same name. Mila 18 (1960), based on a story of Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto; Topaz (1967), an anti-Soviet thriller; and QB VII (1972), about events in a concentration camp, were all highly successful. Critics tended to comment on his prose but everyone commended his story-telling ability. Many of Uris's more recent books have had non-Jewish themes such as Trinity (1976) and The Haj (1984).


USSISHKIN, Menachem Mendel

1863-1941. Zionist leader. Ussishkin's burly frame, brusque manner and tenacity of purpose made him a commanding figure among the early Russian Zionists. WEIZMANN wrote of him that 'his bearing suggested a mixture of a Turkish pasha and a Russian governor-general. But nothing mattered to him but Zionism'.

He was born in the White Russian town of Dubrovno, qualified in Moscow as a technical engineer, and settled near Odessa. From an early age he was active in the Chovevei Zion ('Lovers of Zion') movement. He became the Zionist leader of the South Russian 'district', and from Odessa ruled over a network of illegal Zionist cells. In 1897, he attended the first Zionist Congress in Basle and served as its Hebrew secretary. At the next congress he became a member of the Actions Committee of the movement.

In the bitter dispute over HERZL'S Uganda Project, Ussishkin was active in moulding the Neinsagers ('opponents') into an organized faction. He set out his own views in a pamphlet called Our Programme, stressing group settlement on the land in Palestine, based on selflabour. The pamphlet had a strong influence on the direction of the movement in the years after Herzl's death, and stimulated the pioneering movement of the Second Aliyah.

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Ussishkin escaped from Russia through Constantinople, and made his way to London. He was a member of the Zionist delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and travelled extensively on fund-raising missions. In 1923, he was made chairman of the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet), the Zionist instrument for acquiring and hold

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