ON-Lion Letter
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese were given the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award during the Ronald Reagan Banquet at February 2010's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.  The Kirkpatrick Award recognizes the promotion and defense of academic freedom and individual liberties at institutions of higher learning in the United States.

The late Elizabeth Fox-Genovese began her career as a specialist in French history, developed expertise in women's history in the antebellum South, and ultimately came to be known as a leading conservative feminist.  From Emory University, her outspoken expression of her views and critiques of liberal feminism brought her notoriety on the left and admiration on the right.

Eugene D. Genovese is considered by scholars on both the left and the right to be one of the most-influential historians in the field of American slavery.  He taught at Rutgers University, the University of Rochester, The College of William & Mary, and Emory, among other places. 

Famous for his disputes with colleagues, Genovese became the first Marxist president of The Organization of American Historians.  With his wife Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, he helped found The Historical Society to bring together historians united by a traditional methodology.

In accepting the award for himself and on behalf of his wife, Eugene said "I am, to say the least, honored by your Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award.  I can only hope that I earned it.  I am certain that Betsey did.

"When Betsey hosted her first party at our home for the students and professors" in her Women's Studies Program at Emory, he continued, "feminists, anti-feminists, radicals and conservatives, men and women, blacks and whites, gays and straights mixed together easily -- bantering, challenging, and teasing each other in a spirit of mutual respect and courtesy.  There followed a number of friendships across ideological and other lines. 

"But as word got around about the success of her Program, the radical Left, especially the feminists, unleashed a breath-taking vicious campaign across the country to destroy her career.  Needless to say, they spewed their poison all the more after Betsey entered the Catholic Church, embraced pro-life, and departed the Marxist-Feminist Left.  No attacks, no matter how vicious, deterred her.  To the very end, when crippled by MS and wracked by rheumatoid arthritis, and stenosis, among other diseases, she summoned her strength to fight for the things she passionately believed in -- high academic standards, academic freedom, and the rights of the unborn."

Eugene Genovese also gave another, separate speech to CPAC on academic freedom, academic standards, and international politics.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee sponsors the Kirkpatrick Award.

Eugene D. Genovese's Speech at CPAC
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