The Lonely Days Were Sundays
Reflections of a Jewish Southerner
This collection of essays by the astute historian Eli N. Evans is written from the unique perspective of a Jew raised in the South.
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.- Library Journal
Lively and opinionated, the thirty-one essays collected here (written over the past twenty 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, NC, 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.- Publishers Weekly
Eli Evans tells a riveting story of his journey across a decade of action and experience that took him from a boyhood in North Carolina into a life of involvement in Jewish causes. Somewhere across the way he is gripped by Israel's ordeals. It is a saga of unusual fidelities, all of them passionately felt. Eli Evans's prose is like himself--stylish, serene, reflective, and relentlessly candid about the issues that moved his generation. The Jews of the South have found their poet laureate.- Abba Eban
With his enduring classics, The Provincials and Judah P. Benjamin, Eli N. Evans has become the most eloquent and knowledgeable voice in our nation of the Jewish South, its deep terrains and emotional cadences. Throughout his brave and varied life he has exemplified the finest in our southern-American civilization. Now, with The Lonely Days Were Sundays, a multi-layered book of great warmth and feeling, he reminds us anew of the Jewish southern inheritance, its ancient intensities and rhythms and heartbeats. This is a very southern book, and also an immensely American one.- Willie Morris, author of New York Days
Eli Evans combines knowledge of his region and of his Jewish heritage into a complex and subtle mixture of insights that often intertwines autobiography with observation and informs as it inspires. . . . He brings to his writing the unique perspective of one who has grown up Jewish in the Bible Belt.- Terry Sanford, from the foreword