Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture invited AHI President Robert Paquette to participate in a series that reintroduces readers to great conservative thinkers of the past.  He was tasked to write for the January issue a short piece “Remembering Eugene Genovese” (1930-2012), a preeminent historian who was an inaugural member of AHI’s board of academic advisors.

As Paquette points out, Genovese experienced an intellectual odyssey that reflected both continuity and change.  He began his academic career as a Marxist, atheist and ended it as an observant Roman Catholic.  Genovese formally broke with the left in 1994 in a fiery article published in Dissent magazine. Although features of conservative thinking marked Genovese’s writing, Paquette points out, whether Genovese was ever truly a “conservative” remains an open question.  Genovese specialized in the history of the antebellum South, and his Roll, Jordan, Roll:  The World the Slaves Made (1974) is regarded as one of the most important works of nonfiction of the 20th century.