Louis P. Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. A cultural historian, he has published books on a range of topics. His most recent works are Lincoln's Last Speech: Wartime Reconstruction and the Crisis of Reunion (2015) and Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union (2012), which won the Lincoln Institute Book Prize. He is also the author of The Civil War: A Concise History (2011); The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America (2008); Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series (2003); and 1831: Year of Eclipse (2001). Masur has received teaching awards from Harvard University, the City College of New York, Trinity College, and Rutgers University, and is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and Society of American Historians.
Specific photographs have had a profound affect on American History. Think of Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, Joe Rosenthal's Raising of the Flag on Mt. Suribachi, or Nick Ut's Napalm Girl. In this lecture we shall examine several iconic American photographs and discuss both how to read them and how they shaped events.