Louis P. Masur is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He is the author of many books, including The Civil War: A Concise History, The Soiling of Old Glory, and Lincoln's Last Speech. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Slate and he lectures around the country for One Day University.
Louis Masur has written the concise, informed, and fluid history of the United States that the nation, indeed, the world, has needed for decades. Persuasive about the big things, Masur still invites argument, on the principle that history is argument without end. Learned yet unpretentious, his book is essential is every sense, an indispensable account of the fundamentals in our past. --Sean Wilentz With an ambitious project like a single volume history of the United States, sweep and scope is a given. But precision, wit and wisdom are what makes Louis Masur's The Sum of our Dreams really stand out. From the foundation of our founding to the tumult of our still-young century, Masur illuminates our common history and its recurring themes, providing an invaluable resource and a great read. --John Avlon, CNN Senior Analyst and author of Washington's Farewell A robust retelling of the American story, aptly suited to our time. Louis Masur neatly captures the contradictions at the heart of the American experience, and does so with the confidence and panache of the experienced teacher and insightful historian he is. --H. W. Brands, University of Texas, Austin In our bitterly divided 21st-century republic, it is easy to forget that the United States of America has always been a messy, wildly partisan, and deeply violent experiment. It never wasn't. That is the central message of Louis Masur's marvelous tour through American history. He reminds us of how hard our road has been, while proclaiming his frank admiration for our dreams and our democracy. As we plunge into the 2020 election season, I can't imagine a more relevant book. Bravo. --S. C. Gwynne, author of the New York Times Bestsellers Rebel Yell, and Empire of the Summer Moon A parade of colorful characters, memorable quotations, stunning moments, painful ironies, and fleeting victories fill these pages, as do the dreams-met and unmet-of the country's various striving populations. Engaging, accessible, and broadly informative, The Sum of Our Dreams seamlessly connects and contextualizes hundreds of key historical figures, events, and places, helping readers to make sense of this young country's complex past and challenging present. --Tiya Miles, author of The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits