The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the

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In this classic portrait of Jews in the South, Eli N. Evans takes readers inside the nexus of southern and Jewish histories, from the earliest immigrants to the present day. Evoking the rhythms and heartbeat of Jewish life in the Bible belt, Evans weaves together chapters of recollections from his youth and early years in North Carolina with chapters that explore the experiences of Jews in many cities and small towns across the South. He presents the stories of communities, individuals, and events in this quintessential American landscape that reveal the deeply intertwined strands of what he calls a unique "Southern Jewish consciousness". First published in 1973 and updated in 1997, The Provincials was the first book to take readers on a journey into the soul of the Jewish South, using autobiography, storytelling, and interpretive history to create a complete portrait of Jewish contributions to the history of the region. No other book on this subject combines elements of memoir and history in such a compelling way. This new edition includes a gallery of more than two dozen family and historical photographs as well as a new introduction by the author.

"The Provincials remains the seminal indispensable book about the Jewish experience in the South. . . . One of a kind, a masterpiece. (Pat Conroy)

"The Provincials" remains the seminal indispensable book about the Jewish experience in the South. . . . One of a kind, a masterpiece. (Pat Conroy)

Such a fine and valuable book--thoughtful, informative, revealing--a reminiscence and a history that works on both counts. (Jonathan Yardley, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist)

With the distance of many years and many miles, Evans successfully examines the status of the Jews of the South in the last 300 years. He has written an amazing classic.--Jewish News

A pure delight to read. . . . Warm, witty, vivid, and thoroughly charming. . . . A penetrating powerful description of what it's like to be Southern and Jewish.--Janice O. Rothschild, Hadassah Magazine

Outstanding. . . . This book is truly a brilliant gem. Its enduring appeal, which has already been demonstrated, will now be enriched by this new edition. Evans writes with warmth and discernment, setting forth an engaging and witty story that will rivet the interest of its readers.--Fort Lauderdale Jewish Journal

This book is truly a gem. Its enduring appeal, which has already been demonstrated, will now be enriched by this new edition. . . . The definitive history of Southern Jewry. Evans writes with warmth and discernment, setting forth an engaging and witty story that will rivet the interest of its readers.--Cleveland Jewish News

A solid history . . . in a personal, easy-reading format--Texas Jewish Post

[A] spell-binding portrait of growing up in the South during the last century. . . . [An] absolute must for anyone who wants to understand something of the history of the South.-- DurhamHerald Sun

The Provincials is not only first rate American history, it's also a first rate coming-of-age memoir. Eli Evans knows everything there is to know about growing up southern and Jewish at the same time.--Alfred Uhry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Driving Miss Daisy

Eli Evans shows what history can be--a panoramic picture of perspective and depth, warmed by vibrant color and enriched with personal understanding.--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

An extraordinary work of literary art.--Dallas Morning News

Captivating, provocatively and artfully written. . . . This book is prodigiously researched and is an extraordinary intertwining of autobiography with an unfamiliar facet of Americana.--Business Week

[The Provincials is an] insightful work of social and personal history.--Reform Judaism

[Evans] endows his narrative with a human texture which elevates it to literature. The Provincials is a multilayered book of great warmth and feeling. . . . It has become an enduring classic.--Willie Morris, from the Foreword

The Provincials is a classic portrait of Jewish history in the American South. Drawing on his own roots in North Carolina, Eli Evans eloquently explores the contributions of Jews in communities--from small towns to large cities--throughout the region. In recent years the book has inspired an exciting new field of teaching and research on Jewish studies in the American South. This impressive collector's edition of The Provincials is enriched by the addition of historic and family photos, along with a new introduction by Evans. The book is an essential resource for courses on the American South and on Jewish history in the region. It is also a powerful reminder of the distinguished contributions Jews have made both to the American South and to our nation.--William Ferris, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture 


[A] landmark portrait of Southern Jewry.--The Jewish Press

[The Provincials] is truly a gem. . . . Evans writes with warmth and discernment, setting forth an engaging and witty story that will rivet the interest of its readers.--Cleveland Jewish News

Such a fine and valuable book--thoughtful, informative, revealing--a reminiscence and a history that works on both counts.--Jonathan Yardley, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist

No account of the Jewish communities of the South would be complete without Eli Evans' The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South. . . . The Provincials is indispensable to understanding the place where 'Jews in the South' become 'Southern Jews' and then 'Jewish Southerners.'--Jewish News Weekly

The Provincials remains the seminal indispensable book about the Jewish experience in the South. . . . One of a kind, a masterpiece.--Pat Conroy

The Jews of the South have found their poet laureate. . . . Evans's prose is like himself-stylish, serene, reflective, and relentlessly candid about the issues that moved his generation.--Abba Eban

 

Key Details 

Author                                                                                                    Eli N. Evans 

Number of Pages                                                                                    440 pages

Format                                                                                                   Hardcover 

Publication Date                                                                                     1973, 1977, 2005

Language                                                                                               English 

Publisher                                                                                                The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London 

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