• Louis Masur
  • Louis Masur
  • Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Princeton University, 1985
  • Specialty: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century US: Cultural History
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  • Office: Ruth Adams Building, Room 202, 131 George Street, New Brunswick


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 The Sum of Our Dreams: A Concise History of America.




  • The Sum of our Dreams: A Concise History of America (Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • 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 Civil 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)

Selected Awards

  • Elected Member Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2021
  • Rutgers University Board of Governors Scholar-Teacher Award, 2017
  • Abraham Lincoln Institute, Award for Best Book, 2012
  • 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