Book Reviews of The provincials;: A personal history of Jews in the South

The provincials;: A personal history of Jews in the South
The provincials A personal history of Jews in the South
Author: Eli N Evans
ISBN-13: 9780689105418
ISBN-10: 068910541X
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 369
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1

3.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Atheneum
Book Type: Unknown Binding
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3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The provincials;: A personal history of Jews in the South on + 1217 more book reviews
Hardcover with dust jacket.
reviewed The provincials;: A personal history of Jews in the South on + 740 more book reviews
Jews in the South, circa 1970. The author, himself the son of a Jewish store owner and sometime mayor of Durham, NC, was assigned by Harper's Monthly to write an article. Thus the book doesn't have the historical rigor of an academic project but apparently was used in university classes as my copy is the 2nd edition, 1980, and I see it has been reprinted at least twice more since then.
I picked up the book seeking information on the department store in Charleston owned by Mrs. Sy Galen's grandparents. She told me it was burned down circa 1900 by anti-Semites, but I found no mention of it. On the contrary, Chapter 4 concerns Mr. Tobias whose family has lived nine generations in Charleston.
I read that chapter and the one on the KKK, Ch. 3 that offered a short history of the immigration of Jews to America--many went to the South in colonial and pre-civil war times--, chapter one about how a Jew, with Black supporters who have left the GOP for the Democrats, was elected mayor of Durham in 1950, and Chapter Two about the family department store that valued Black customers (people had jobs and money to spend after WWII!), and why there were no stools at the integrated lunch counter. Chapter 19 is the best of those I read, an affectionate look at the Black housekeeper, as employed by so many families in the South.
Well written and worth reading at least some of the chapters. 0 wishes, 0 posted so I will take it to the old soldiers' home.
reviewed The provincials;: A personal history of Jews in the South on + 740 more book reviews
Reprinted several times for use in college classrooms, the author is the scion of a family that had a successful department store.
Most mentions of Jews working in the South in the 'Days of Mckinley' or thereabouts have to do with the bare tolerance on good days and real trouble encountered on bad days. His description of how his grandpa, starting as a peddler, got along fairly well with his customers is refreshing. "The farmers, looking on him as an authority, questioned him constantly on Bibical problems."