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Best of All Worlds

James Oakes: Slavery and Class, 11 March 2010

Slavery in White and Black: Class and Race in the Southern Slaveholders’ New World Order 
by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £14.99, December 2008, 978 0 521 72181 3
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... In 1965 Eugene Genovese published his first book, The Political Economy of Slavery, a stunning reinterpretation of the antebellum South. Although he wrote as a Marxist, he revived the bourgeois critique of slavery most closely associated with Adam Smith. The class conflict that might have driven the history of the South was stifled, he argued, by the slave owners’ paternalism towards their slaves and by their hegemony over farmers who did not own slaves ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... Eugene Genovese is a Marxist historian with conservative affiliations who has had a greater impact on current interpretations of the Southern past than any other scholar with the possible exception of C. Vann Woodward. Perhaps he can also make sense of the right-wing garbage that nowadays fills American papers and airwaves (his devastating National Review article on The Bell Curve should be required reading ...

Our Slaves Are Black

Nicholas Guyatt: Theories of Slavery, 4 October 2007

Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World 
by David Brion Davis.
Oxford, 440 pp., £17.99, May 2006, 0 19 514073 7
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The Trader, the Owner, the Slave 
by James Walvin.
Cape, 297 pp., £17.99, March 2007, 978 0 224 06144 5
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The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 
by Colin Kidd.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £16.99, September 2006, 0 521 79324 6
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The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview 
by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese.
Cambridge, 828 pp., £18.99, December 2005, 0 521 85065 7
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... clearly in The Mind of the Master Class, a massive study of slaveholders in the American South by Eugene Genovese and the late Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. Eugene Genovese is the First Mrs Rochester of the American historical profession. Nearly forty years ago, he won prizes and rave ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... such as Richard Rorty, Benedict Anderson and the radical-turned-Neo-Conservative historian Eugene Genovese, as well as thoughtful reviews of significant debates, such as the contested legacy of Darwin (Stephen Jay Gould v. sociobiology), the stake of revisionist histories of the 1960s and the role of race in the formulation of law. But at times ...

Divinely Ordained

Jackson Lears: God loves America, 19 May 2011

A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided 
by Amanda Foreman.
Penguin, 988 pp., £12.99, June 2011, 978 0 14 104058 5
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... to complicate this heroic narrative. Guided at times by Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony, Eugene Genovese, Eric Foner and David Brion Davis conceived slavery as a mode of organising labour, as well as a system of racial domination. This led to the recognition that advocates of ‘free labour’ had economic as well as humanitarian reasons for ...

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