Eugene D. Genovese, 82, historian on slavery, dies

Eugene D. Genovese, an American historian known for his writings on the Civil War and slavery, died Wednesday. He was 82.

Dr. Genovese taught and guest-lectured at several colleges and universities across the country, including Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, Rutgers University, the University of Rochester and the College of William & Mary.

An Atlanta resident, Dr. Genovese has been called one of the most influential historians of slavery and the antebellum South by his colleagues. He wrote several books, including his 1976 “Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made.” He also wrote three books with his wife, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, an Emory University history professor who died in 2007.

According to an online biography, Dr. Genovese began his career in the ’60s as an “avowed Marxist” whose advocacy of the Viet Cong was the center of much debate, especially in academic settings. But by the ’90s, he’d become “intellectually, politically, and morally disillusioned” with Marxism and converted to Roman Catholicism with his wife. The couple then helped establish the Historical Society “to resist the encroachment of ideology in historical studies,” the bio says.

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