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David Stebenne

David Stebenne

David Stebenne

Professor of History and Law



240 Dulles Hall
230 Annie & John Glenn Avenue
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • US History since 1877
  • Power, Culture, and the State


  • B.A., History, Yale University
  • Ph.D., History, Columbia University
  • J.D., Law, Columbia University
David Stebenne is a specialist in modern American political and legal history.  A member of the Maryland Bar, he has taught at Ohio State since 1993.
Professor Stebenne has written three books and co-authored a fourth one. The first, Arthur J. Goldberg: New Deal Liberal (Oxford U. Press, 1996), explores the rise and decline of  New Deal era liberalism from the 1930s through the 1960s. His second book, Modern Republican: Arthur Larson and the Eisenhower Years (Indiana U. Press, 2006), is a study of the rise and decline of moderately conservative ideas from the 1940's through the 1960's. Stebenne co-authored a history of the leading suburban new town of Columbia, Maryland with Joseph Mitchell. The book was published by the History Press in 2007 with the title New City Upon A Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland. Professor Stebenne's latest book, which is primarily intended for educated general readers, is called Promised Land: How the Rise of the Middle Class Transformed America, 1929-1968 (Scribner, 2020).  He is currently working on a book about the decline of the middle class since the late 1960s.
Professor Stebenne has published articles, essays and shorter analytical pieces in many places. In addition to writing for scholarly audiences, he contributes to such publications aimed at educated general readers as: The Conversation, the Huffington Post, the New Republic, the Observer, and Salon. Stebenne has appeared often on WOSU radio to comment on American presidential elections, and has appeared 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 discuss constitutional history and law.   He writes a Substack newsletter called "Democracy in America Now" that is focused on placing the 2024 presidential election in clearer historical perspective.  Stebenne serves as the elections historian for the Election Law Group at OSU's Moritz College of Law, and is a member of OSU's Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA). He has presented his scholarly work at major national and international conferences.  
In keeping with his interdisciplinary interests, Professor Stebenne teaches courses in American political and constitutional history in the History Department, and on American legal history in the OSU law school. He has served as chair of the Littleton-Griswold Book Prize Committee of the American Historical Association (given to the best book in American legal history) and as chair of the Richard W. Leopold Prize Committee of the Organization of American Historians (for the best work of history written by someone employed in government). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Policy History. Stebenne has received numerous grants and fellowships, and has won awards for his research, teaching and service.    

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