James Oakes on Eugene Genovese

You might want to take a look at this article, in which James Oakes compares his approach to the study of slavery, antislavery, and the coming of the Civil War with that of Eugene Genovese, who is often held up as an icon of the Confederate heritage movement (by people who have read precious little of what he wrote, of course). Share your thoughts in the comments section.


2 thoughts on “James Oakes on Eugene Genovese

  1. BYOL September 8, 2014 / 4:47 pm

    Oakes seems right on to me, it’s always been the property in men argument that makes slavery different from other forms of bondage. It is also why emancipation and abolition are two different policies. You can emancipate all the slaves (or they can “emancipate themselves” if you prefer) but if there is still a legal right to the property in man, slavery as an institution still exists.

  2. Lyle Smith September 9, 2014 / 2:31 pm

    I like this article. Not ever having read Oakes or a lot of Genovese I’ve pretty much drawn the same conclusions about what slavery was and what the Civil War was about.

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