I am an American cultural historian who focuses on discrete moments and seeks to unpack their meaning, whether the events of a year or a single photograph or a seminal record album. My most recent book is a study of Lincoln’s last speech and the problem of wartime Reconstruction.
- Lincoln's Last Speech: Wartime Reconstruction and the Crisis of Reunion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).
- Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2012) Awarded prize for best book from the Abraham Lincoln Institute and the North Jersey Civl War Roundtable.
- The Civil War: A Concise History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)
- Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009; paperback 2010; German edition Rogner and Bernhard, 2009; Italian edition, Arcana, 2010) Selected a favorite book of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune.
- The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2008; paperback 2009) Selected a Best Book of 2008 by the Los Angeles Times.
- Autumn Glory: Baseball’s First World Series (New York, Hill & Wang, 2003; paperback 2004)
- 1831: Year of Eclipse (New York: Hill & Wang, 2001; paperback 2002)
- Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776-1865 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989; paperback edition, 1991)
- Appointed to Historians’ Council of Gettysburg Trust, 2012
- Elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2012
- Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence, Trinity College, 2011
- Elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians 2005
- Elected to membership, American Antiquarian Society, 2003
- Outstanding Teaching Award, City College of New York, 2001
- Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1999
- John Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University, 1992
- Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities, Harvard University, 1989-1990