Genovese, Eugene Dominick

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Genovese, Eugene Dominick

Eugene Dominick Genovese, 1930–2012, American historian, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Brooklyn College (B.A., 1953), Columbia (M.A., 1955; Ph.D., 1959). Known for his penetrating studies of slavery and the American South, he became a Communist in his youth and early in his career established himself as a Marxist historian. Among the colleges at which he taught were Rutgers Univ. (1963–67), Sir George Williams Univ., Montreal (1967–69), the Univ. of Rochester (1969–86), and several Atlanta institutions including Emory Univ. and the Atlanta Univ. Center. Genovese was a sometimes controversial but respected historian during the 1960s and 70s when he wrote a number trailblazing books including The Political Economy of Slavery (1965), The World the Slaveholders Made (1969), the Bancroft Prize–winning Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (1974), and From Rebellion to Revolution (1979). By the 1980s Genovese had renounced his liberal views, and in the early 1990s he moved sharply right in his political and historical thinking. He rejected Marxism, re-embraced (1996) Catholicism, became a critic of the academic left, and to some degree concentrated his scholarly work on analyses of the South's conservative tradition, for instance stressing paternalism in the antebellum South. Among his later books are The Southern Tradition (1994) and A Consuming Fire (1998).

Elizabeth Ann Fox-Genovese, 1940–2007, b. Boston, whom Genovese married in 1969, also was an American historian. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College (B.A., 1963) and Harvard Univ. (M.A., 1965; Ph.D., 1974), she taught at Rochester Univ. (1973–80) and SUNY, Binghamton (1980–86) before becoming a professor at Emory Univ., where she was (1986–91) founding director of the Institute for Women's Studies. Noted for her work on women's issues and Southern culture, she maintained a largely conservative stance on contemporary cultural, educational, and social questions. Her books include Within the Plantation Household (1988), Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life (1996), and Marriage on Trial (2004). She and her husband co-wrote such books as Fruits of Merchant Capital (1983) and The Mind of the Master Class (2005).

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