Thomas J. Sugrue

Thomas J. Sugrue

Thomas J. Sugrue is a professor of history and social and cultural analysis at New York University, where he joined the faculty in 2015 after 24 years at the University of Pennsylvania. A specialist in twentieth-century American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race, Sugrue is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a past president of the Urban History Association and the Social Science History Association. His most recent publications include These United States: The Making of a Nation, 1890 to the Present, with Glenda Gilmore (2015); Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race (2012); Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (2008); and The New Suburban History (2006) with Kevin Kruse. His first book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis (1996), won numerous awards and was recently selected and reissued by publisher Princeton University Press as one of its "100 Most Influential Books" of the past one hundred years.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles, his essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, London Review of Books, the Nation, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Washington Monthly, Dissent, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, the Hollywood Reporter, and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sugrue is currently engaged in a research project on race, ethnicity, and citizenship in France and the United States. His long-term research project is a history of the rise and travails of the modern American real estate industry from the late nineteenth century to the current economic crisis.

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Twitter: @TomSugrue.


  • Barack Obama as History
  • Beyond Apocalypse: Rethinking America in the 1960s
  • Jim Crow's Last Stand: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Suburban North
  • Leading a Divided America: Barack Obama and the Age of Fracture
  • Race and Rust: The Transformation of the Postwar American City
  • Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten History of Civil Rights in the North


Detroit Rising?: Crisis, Bankruptcy, and the Future of the City

This OAH Distinguished Lecture was presented as a keynote address during the 2016 conference of the American Association for State and Local History and the Michigan Museum Association, held in Detroit in September 2016. (Lecture starts at 19:09.)

Visit the OAH YouTube channel for more audio and video recordings.