The Homeless Romantic Podcast
The Homeless Romantic Podcast
David Stebenne | The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class | Professor of History and Law #153 HR

My friend David Stebenne is a prominent historian and legal scholar specializing in modern American political and legal history. He earned his B.A. in history from Yale University and holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Currently, he is a member of the Maryland Bar and has been teaching at Ohio State University (OSU) since 1993.


Promised Land
How the Rise of the Middle Class Transformed America, 1929-1968


Professor Stebenne has authored three books and co-authored another. His first book, “Arthur J. Goldberg: New Deal Liberal” (Oxford University Press, 1996), examines the ascent and decline of New Deal liberalism from the 1930s to the 1960s. The second book, “Modern Republican: Arthur Larson and the Eisenhower Years” (Indiana University Press, 2006), explores the rise and fall of moderately conservative ideas during the 1940s to the 1960s. He co-authored a history of Columbia, Maryland, a leading suburban new town, titled “New City Upon A Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland” (History Press, 2007) with Joseph Mitchell. Professor Stebenne’s most recent book, “Promised Land: How the Rise of the Middle Class Transformed America, 1929-1968” (Scribner, 2020), is intended for educated general readers and delves into the transformative impact of the middle class on American society during that period.

In addition to his books, Professor Stebenne has contributed articles, essays, and analytical pieces to various publications. While he writes for scholarly audiences, he also writes for publications aimed at educated general readers such as The Conversation, the Huffington Post, the New Republic, the Observer, and Salon. He frequently appears on WOSU radio’s “All Sides with Ann Fisher” show, primarily discussing American presidential elections. He has also been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” to discuss politics, the economy, and labor issues, as well as on the BBC World Service to explore constitutional history and law. Professor Stebenne’s writings cover modern U.S. political and legal history, as well as contemporary American politics and law.

Within OSU, Professor Stebenne serves as the elections historian for the Election Law Group at the Moritz College of Law. He is an active member of OSU’s Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA). He teaches courses on American political and constitutional history in the History Department, as well as American legal history in the law school. Professor Stebenne has presented his scholarly work at major national and international conferences.

In recognition of his expertise, Professor Stebenne has chaired the Littleton-Griswold Book Prize Committee of the American Historical Association, which honors the best book in American legal history. He has also chaired the Richard W. Leopold Prize Committee of the Organization of American Historians, which recognizes the best work of history written by someone employed in government. Throughout his career, he has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for his research, teaching, and service.

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