The Lonely Days Were Sundays: Reflections of a Jewish Southerner

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"The Jews of the South have found their poet laureate" —Abba Eban

In 33 entertaining essays, Evans explores southern politics, history, and culture; the state of Israel; and the Civil war--delineating them through the prism of his Jewish-Southern identity and reflecting upon the paradox of the Southern Jewish experience: to be a part of things yet set apart from them. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lively and opinionated, the 31 essays collected here (written over the past 20 years and reprinted from the New York Times , Journal of Southern History , etc.) reflect the author's love of history and pride in his identity as a Jewish Southerner. Born and raised in Durham, N.C., Evans, a former speech writer for President Lyndon Johnson and the author of Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate , here treats a wide variety of subjects, including the involvement of Southern Jews in politics, novels dealing with the Jewish South, the first Jewish Miss North Carolina and the future of Israel. Of particular interest is the inclusion of a diary Evans kept while traveling with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on a 1975 diplomatic trip to the Middle East. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
Library Journal
This collection of essays by the astute historian Evans is written from the unique perspective of a Jew raised in the South. His subject matter is wide-ranging, covering such areas as the portrayal of the Jewish South in novels and movies, the parallels between the assassinations of Kennedy and Lincoln, and Zionism in the Bible Belt. His intense interest in politics--he was a staffer for LBJ--is evident in the pieces chronicling the evolution of Southern politics and in his firsthand coverage of the National Democratic conventions. He shares a strong affinity with the black experience; several of the essays reflect his support for the cause of blacks from the inception of the Civil Rights movement in the South. His endorsement of Israel also manifests itself in his writings. His keen sense of connection with the Southern Jewish experience, not widely written about, will attract a ready audience in public library collections.-- Mary Ellen Beck, Troy P.L., N.Y.
About two-thirds of these essays have been published as magazine articles and are presented here somewhat revised and edited along with previously unpublished essays. Evans, now a New Yorker, grew up Jewish in the Bible Belt of the South. His wide-ranging subjects include prominent Jews of the South, presidential politics, Israel and Jewish history, and Southern images and culture. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878057528
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Jews in the South
1 Southern Jewish History: Alive and Unfolding 3
2 In Search of Judah P. Benjamin 17
3 Miss North Carolina Is Jewish 35
4 Zionism in the Bible Belt 47
5 Harry Golden (1902-1981) 51
6 Strangers in a Strange Land: The Jewish Communities of Savannah, Mississippi, and Atlanta 55
7 The Jewish South in Novels 68
A Lynching in Georgia 68
The Jews of New Orleans 72
Pt. III Southern Politics and History
8 Southern Liberals and the Court 77
9 The Transformation of Southern Politics 80
10 In the Shadow of Southern History 88
11 The City, the South, and the Caribbean 94
12 A Step toward Equal Justice 100
13 Southern Jews, Baptists, and Jimmy Carter 110
14 The Natural Superiority of Southern Politicians 117
Pt. III The Past and the Future
15 Presidential Politics and the Democratic National Conventions: 1964-1976 127
1964: Atlantic City and Big Brother Lyndon 127
1968: Chicago, Where the Streets Swallowed Hubert Humphrey 131
1972: Miami - All Night Long with George McGovern 138
1976: A New Coalition 141
Going through the Mill 141
The End of the Line for Wallace 145
New York City and the Carter-King Revival 148
16 A New Generation Takes Over 152
17 Lincoln and Kennedy: Bound by Fate and History 157
18 Reflections in a Mirror 161
Pt. IV Israel, the Holocaust, and Jewish History
19 The Jewish Secretary of State in Israel: A Diary of the Kissinger Shuttle 171
20 Abba Eban at Columbia 226
21 The Electronic Village 238
22 A Question of Remembering: Three Reviews 258
An Assimilated Woman 258
New Lives in America 261
One, by One, by One 265
23 American Jewish History for Children 270
Pt. V Southern Images and Culture
24 The Changing Image of the South in Movies (1979-1992) 277
25 Revisiting the Saturday Westerns: Back in the Saddle with Hoppy, Gene, and Roy, Oh Boy! 294
26 All the Candidates' Clothes 306
27 The Emperor's Fall Clothes 311
28 Jericho: Shout of Silence 317
Pt. VI Home
29 Sports: The Bond between Fathers and Sons 325
30 The Call from Home 331
Acknowledgments 353
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