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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 February 2011
Almost 50 years ago I read Leon Uris's Mila 18, which I've considered to be one of my favorite books of all time with one of the most memorable fictional characters ever in Andrei Androfski. Recently, I decided to read this book again, although I have to admit I was a little concerned that it might not live up to the great memories I have of it. My concern was totally unfounded. Mila 18 stands the test of time -- as all classics do; and, in my opinion, Mila 18 is a classic.

In Mila 18, Uris, through his fully developed cast of Jewish characters, tells the story of Jewish oppression in Poland soon after the country's being defeated by the Nazis in WWII, followed by the annihilation of half a million Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, and finally the incredible ghetto uprising in which a miniscule Jewish army headed by Andrei Androfski held off the powerful German army for forty-two days and nights.

Beyond Andrei Androfski, you'll meet many other very richly developed characters that will likely stay in your memories and hearts for years to come. Further, Uris's narrative and descriptive capabilities will make you feel that you are right there with these characters as they struggle with how to respond to the Nazis, as they go passively to their deaths and, ultimately, when they decide to rise up and fight -- not because of an expectation to survive but for the hope that their uprising will make the rest of the world stand up and take notice.

Mila 18 is not an easy read. It will make you infuriated and frustrated for a variety of reasons, it will bring you to tears, and it will make your sense of pride swell to new highs. However, there won't be one second that you'll ever regret making the decision to read this book. I hope you decide to read it or perhaps re-read it, as I did. I can't recommend Mila 18 highly enough!
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on 22 June 1999
Mila 18 was one of the best novels I have ever read. As common as this phrase may sound, this novel is anything but uncommon. Trying to reach an audience that has little, if any, knowledge of the actual non-fiction events that led to the destruction of the Jewery of Warsaw, Poland is a monumental task within itself. As for someone who has read a considerable amount on the actual events that led to the uprising of the Jews of Warsaw, this work of fiction symbolizes the sheer humanity and will to live that every fighter posessed in a wonderful, historical manner. On a recent trip to Poland I found myself searching for the places Uris described so often in his book, only to be confronted with the disdain of many Warsaw Poles who wish to bury the existence of nearly 300,000 Jewish inhabitants (pre-war estimate) and shy away from the memory of the largest European Jewish community's destruction. The strangest thing about Poland is that children, when trying to insult one another, or adults, wishing to claim one soccer team's dominance over another's, use the word "Jew" to signify cowardice. Mila 18 is one work of fiction that should be read by the people of Poland as well as those in the United States in order to see the significance of struggle and to understand who the real cowards are. Finally, as an important side note, once you pick up this novel, the thought of putting it down will not occurr to the reader until the last page is turned. It was; it is an excellent work of historical fiction that is a must read.
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on 30 April 2012
This novel of the Warsaw ghetto, culminating in the 1943 uprising, has been a harrowing re-read.
I could well describe myself as a great-granddaughter of Warsaw, much of my family having migrated here from the Warsaw region. At twenty-one, a great-aunt told me of how her father had taken her to visit the family there just after the first world war; until then I had not realised that any relatives had stayed behind and I started to ask myself why I had not heard about them. I did not finish my thought; my brain knew the horrible answer and my blood ran cold.
'Mila 18' is viscerally close to home.
Having recently read a survivor's non-fiction memoir, I had to remind myself that the novel's leading characters are merely the creations of the author, so well and memorably are they depicted. But I know Leon Uris did that side of his research well; they very much had their real-life counterparts, such as the young commander who wedged himself into a narrow bunker entrance as the Nazis approached and shot him, giving time for his fellow fighters and civilians to escape through other exits.
So both books are a moving read for anyone, but I found the novel, perhaps because it is written as fiction, to be much more imbued with emotion, and all the tragic drama of this supremely heroic but ultimately doomed uprising.
The small minus points against the writing are the occasional lapses into comic book language to show the impact of ordnance and that some of the Nazis seem cartoonish - but that's no more than they deserve.
No one would claim that the author was the most literary writer, just a successful, page-turning one, writing from the heart.
Leon Uris' characters are believable and sympathetic, standing in place of the real life people who died of starvation and disease, in the Treblinka gas chambers, or fighting back. And in place of the pitiful few who survived - such as the founders of the Ghetto Fighters kibbutz.
They lit a flame for Poland and Israel and 'Mila 18' does them justice.
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on 5 March 2016
Given the lack of documentation on the Warsaw uprising, this is a pretty good overview, albeit in novel form. The slightly clunky development of the relationships is a drawback, but the man has definitely done his research.
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on 2 January 2014
Remarkably this book was published in 1961. It has stood the test of time with the author's description of the Warsaw Ghetto. The killings, atrocities and heroism are all there using the "factional" method. There is no doubt that Uris is very angry in his writing. The treatment of the Jewish population in Warsaw and Poland is very hard to stomach, and Uris rails at the Polish people for allowing it and almost certainly collaborating with it; at the outside world for ignoring it; the catholic church for not doing anything. Yes the Jews are presented as heroes but throughout in the background is the weakness of those Jews who are not the central characters and accepted their fate.
However it is worth reading for the senses of freedom of spirit one gets from those who emerge from despair and humiliation.
It is 2014 now and it will be 70 years since the Warsaw uprising represented in films like "The Pianist. It will undoubtedly be remembered during this year of anniversary celebrations.
Uris's book is a reminder that the ghetto uprising of 1943 had no reported anniversary in 2013: but there again, the Polish community didn't help it one bit did they?
Read it and feel angry as well
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on 4 June 1999
This is the only book I've ever read that has mae me cry. It was exetrely touching, and showed the bravery and detrmination of a people struggling to survive. This book is a must for everyone, espicially those who have read and enjoyed 'Exodus', also by Leon Uris. The spirit of the bravery of the Jews captured in 'Exodus' also comes alive here. I would whole-heartily recommend this book to anyone.
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on 15 June 2013
I felt so very humble reading this book. I had read this before many years ago and it had always remained in my mind.
So when I found a copy through Amazon I was so pleased. I love the way Uris writes, and I would recommend this book
to anyone and everyone. We should know the incredibly courage and dignity those who suffered showed.
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on 16 June 2014
Mila 18 is one of the best books ever written.
Leon Uris takes actual events, in this case
the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto.
then puts his characters in them. I have read
this book numerous times and
it gets me every time. I always tell people the first few
chapters, you get to know the characters and you get to
know them so well, when the action starts you are in
there with them.
This is not just a good book it is a great book
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on 25 March 1999
I have 100 pages left to go in Mila 18, and have been moved so much from this book that I must add my coments to others here. This book should be read by everyone on our planet as standard education for what humans can do to other humans. (I am sure there are other great books, also, that cover the atrocities of WW2 and the Jews, etc.)
Anyone who reads this book, and does not come away with a new found respect for their fellow man, as well as a new desire to be kind and fair to all, should be shot themselves.
It will change your viewpoint of not only Judaism and Nazi-ism, but the rights of people and how we should act to one another. And, just how bad it can really get.
Read it if you dare.
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on 20 August 2014
This is the third time I v read this book. It was on old copy but in excellent condition. I could not set it down and have now passed it on to a friend amazon was the only place I could find this boom but would b fantastic if it was made available as a kindle e book
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