05 October 2012

The Passing Of Eugene Genovese

Readers of this blog know of my admiration for the honest writing and work of Eugene Genovese. Many may also know of his recent passing. The best eulogy I've read thus far was written by Professor Paul Gottfried:

"Absent from Genovese’s work is the tiresome moralizing that now characterizes academic historiography. Even in his most radical phase, he wrote admiringly about the antebellum Southern slave-owners, who believed deeply in their right to rule. This doomed class, which would give way in the Civil War to the dominance of the capitalist bourgeoisie and to the victory of free labor, did not lack for courage or manliness, according to Genovese. The planter class however represented the past, one that was destined to fall to the capitalist North, which eventually, Genovese hoped as a Marxist, would be overthrown by world socialism. By the way, Marx and Engels did not exhibit any of the tender feelings for the Southern side that one finds in their onetime follower. They saw the Civil War, like our liberals and neoconservatives, as an unvarnished struggle between Good and Evil."

More here.

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