It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
Eugene D. Genovese, 1930–2012
On the life of Eugene Dominick Genovese, antebellum historian who passed away in September.
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On September 26, Eugene Dominick Genovese, one of the most influential—and controversial—historians of his generation, passed away at age eighty-two. During the latter stage of his career he had publicly renounced Marxist atheism and returned to the Roman Catholic Church that had nurtured him in his youth. No scholar studied more deeply the history of the master-slave relation in the antebellum South. His masterpiece, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, which in 1975 received the Bancroft Prize, the most prestigious prize in the field of American history, will stand the test of time. During the mid-1970s, with Gene’s stature in the academy on the rise, I entered the graduate program in history at the University of Rochester to obtain a Ph.D. under his supervision. At Rochester, he and I entered into a friendship that remained unbroken for more than thirty-five years. Few people knew him better than I did ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 November 2012, on page 85
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