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Thomas Sugrue: David Boies Professor of History and Sociology
March 16, 2010, Volume 56, No. 25



Thomas J. Sugrue, a member of the history department faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been named David Boies Professor of History and Sociology.

Dr. Sugrue specializes in 20th-century American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race. His book The Origins of the Urban Crisis (1996) won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in History as well as the Philip Taft Prize in Labor History, the President’s Book Award of the Social Science History Association, and the Urban History Association Award for Best Book in North American Urban History.  It was also named by the Princeton University Press as one of the 100 most influential books it published in the past century. His most recent book, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (2008), was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History. In May 2010, Princeton University Press will publish Dr. Sugrue’s next book, Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race.  His essay “Affirmative Action from Below” was selected from over 300 scholarly journal essays to be included in The Best American History Essays 2006. He has published more than 30 other academic articles and has also contributed to the London Review of Books, The Nation, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among others.

Dr. Sugrue obtained his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, his master’s in British history from Cambridge University, and his PhD in American history from Harvard University. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Nanzan University in Japan, and New York University. He has served on the boards of the American Historical Association and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, among others. Additionally, Dr. Sugrue has won several fellowships and grants from acclaimed entities such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fletcher Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. He has also been named Research Fellow in Governmental Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. At Penn, Dr. Sugrue’s courses on America in the 1960s and US history from 1877 to 1933 have been selected “Hall of Fame Classes” by the Penn Course Review.

The David Boies Professorship was established in 2003 by David and Mary Boies to honor Mr. Boies’ father, who was a high school history teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Boies, PAR’07,  are both in the field of law. Mr. Boies has been involved in several high-profile cases and was named Lawyer of the Year by TIME Magazine in 2000 following his service as counsel to former Vice President Al Gore. Mrs. Boies is a partner and attorney with the law firm Boies & McInnis LLP.

Almanac - March 16, 2010, Volume 56, No. 25