Russell R. Menard on Eric Williams

Michael Hoover hoov at
Sun Oct 22 08:50:50 MDT 2000

> Both Engerman and Genovese started out as new leftists.
> Louis Proyect

Genovese was CPer in late 40s.  His hostility to New Left is pretty
legend, he detested NL street politics, building occupations, lifestyle
politics.  EG claims that he has never been radical and cultural
conservatism surely explains part of why he and some other profs who
influenced NLers - Chistopher Lasch and William Appleman Williams come
to mind - moved to right/center in various ways.

Genovese has always held antebellum US South to be feudal-like periphery
and thought southern conservatism to have markers common to European
tradition.  His Marxist writings portray region/period in manner that
manifests itself in recent works as respect for "organic" tradition and its
critical attitude toward role of marketplace.

Re. Engerman, can any listers confirm New Left background?  I believe
he (and Fogel) were among first wave of cliometricians (using stats in
study of history) in late 50s/early 60s influenced by Simon Kuznets at
Johns Hopkins?  What was left about Engerman's pre-_Time on the Cross_
research on either relationship between fiscal/monetary policies &
business cycles or 19th century labor history?  I don't really now
anything about Engerman so maybe he was involved in early NL political
activity (I kinda doubt it).    Michael Hoover

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