"The Provincials" proved to be especially meaningful to me. First, my wife gave it to me for our anniversary; I am researching the Jewish Confederacy, and I had included it on my reading list. Second, we went to Vicksburg, Miss., for our anniversary, and I began reading the book there. I have family roots in Vicksburg, where we met a number of wonderful people at the synagogue who knew my cousin, a World War II veteran who grew up in Vicksburg but now lives in Texas.
My wife and I also toured the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in Utica, which is very close to Vicksburg.
Putting everything together, including our visit to the Jewish cemetery in Vicksburg, I feel I now understand "the Southern Jewish experience." Eli Evans tied a lot of loose ends for me and helped put a lot of things in perspective. (I plan to view "Driving Miss Daisy" again,this time with new appreciation and understanding.)
And I might add, I found this book very easy to read. Since I'm generally reading two or three books at the same time (well, you know what I mean), I had planned to spend three weeks reading "The Provincials." I finished it in a week and was sorry when it was over.