Brian Balogh

Professor of History
Dorothy Compton Chair, The Miller Center
Director, National Fellowship Program, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Co-host, Backstory

(434) 243-8971
Nau 295
Office Hours: Wednesday 11:00-1:00 and by appt.

Field & Specialties

20th Century U.S. Political
American Political Development
Environmental History
History of Science and Technology
History of U.S. Media and Politics


B.A. Harvard 1975

Ph.D. Johns Hopkins 1988


Brian Balogh is the Compton Professor at the Miller Center and the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia.  He founded the Miller Center National Fellowship and currently chairs that program.  His most recent book is A Government out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge University Press, 2009).  His collection of essays, Between the Cycles: Essays on the Evolution of Twentieth-Century American Governance (University of Pennsylvania Press, Politics and Culture in Modern America Series, forthcoming) will be published in 2012.  Balogh is currently working on two book-length projects:  In the Nation’s Backyard:  How History Preserved Rural Life in Green Springs, 1970 to the Present, and Building a Modern State:  Gifford Pinchot and the Tangled Roots of Administration in the United States.  His previous books and articles explore U.S. political history, environmental history and the history of technology.  Balogh is the co-host of Backstory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show that appears on Public Broadcasting Stations across the country.

Balogh received the Z Society Distinguished Faculty Award for 2010-2011 and is the recipient of numerous other teaching and mentoring awards.  He teaches several undergraduate courses, including “Viewing America, 1940 – 1980 and “Digitizing America, 1980 to the Present.”    Balogh received his B.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins.  Before starting graduate school he served in Massachusetts and New York City government for eight years where he was a budget analyst, advisor to New York City Council President Carol Bellamy, and associate director of income maintenance programs for the New York City Department of Social Services.

To view Balogh’s c.v., please click here.


A Government Out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge University Press, 2009).


Chain Reaction: Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercial Nuclear Power, 1945-1975 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).


Editor, Integrating the Sixties: The Origins, Structure and Legacy of a Turbulent Decade, editor (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996).


'Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare:' A Prescription that Progressives Should FillThe Forum: Vol. 7 : Iss. 4, Article 3 (2009).


"Introduction: Directing Democracy," A More Perfect Union: Governors and American Public Policy, 1908-2008, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.


"Making Pluralism 'Great:' Beyond a Recycled History of the Great Society," The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism, eds. Sidney Milkis and Jerry Mileur, University of Massachusetts Press, 2005.


"The State of the State Among Historians," Social Science History 27, no. 3 (fall 2003): 455-63.


"'Mirrors of Desires:' Interest Groups, Elections and the Targeted Style in Twentieth Century America," Meg Jacobs, William Novak, and Julian Zelizer eds., Democracy in Ameirca (Princeton University Press, 2003).


"Scientific Forestry and the Roots of the Modern American State: Gifford Pinchot's Path to Progressive Reform," Environmental History 7, no. 2 (April, 2002): 198-225.


"Making Democracy Work: A Brief History of Twentieth Century Executive Reorganization," with Joanna Grisinger and Philip Zelikow, (Miller Center of Public Affairs Working Paper, July, 2002).


Integrating the Sixties: The Origins, Structure and Legacy of a Turbulent Decade, editor (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996) .


Chain Reaction: Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercial Nuclear Power, 1945-1975 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).


"From Metaphor to Quagmire: The Domestic Legacy of the Vietnam War," Charles Neu, ed., After Vietnam: Legacies of a Lost War (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 24-55.


"Introduction to Integrating the Sixties," Journal of Policy History, 8, no. 1, (1996): 1-33.


"Reorganizing the Organizational Synthesis: Federal-Professional Relations in Modern America," Studies in American Political Development 5, no. 1 (1991): 119-172.


"Securing Support: The Emergence of the Social Security Board as a Political Actor, 1935?1939," in Ellis W. Hawley and Donald T. Critchlow, eds., Federal Social Policy: The Historical Dimension (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988), pp. 55-78.


"An Evolving Presidency," Los Angeles Times, Sunday Commentary, M1, August 2, 1998.


"Reconsidering Elite Dead White Males," feature review of Hershberg, James B. Conanat, Diplomatic History 21, no. 1 (winter 1997):149-157.


Works in Progress

Between the Cycles: Essays on the Evolution of American Governance from the Founding to the Present (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).


Building a Modern State: Gifford Pinchot and the Tangled Roots of Modern Administration in the United States.


Awards & Honors

Mayo Distinguished Teaching Award, 2005-2007. 

Office of African American Affairs, Mentor of the Year, 2000.

University of Virginia Senate Faculty Teaching Grant, 1999.

Princeton University Library Fellowship, May, 1999.

Hoover Presidential Library Research Grant, 1989, 1999.

Teaching and Technology Initiative, University of Virginia, fellowship, 1996.

University of Virginia, Summer Research Grants 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996.

Ada E. Leeke Research Grant, 1994.

Truman Presidential Library, Research Grant, June, 1992, 1994.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Fellowship, 1993-4.

National Endowment for the Humanities, Travel Grant, 1992.

Smithsonian Institution, Short Term Visitor, July, 1992.

Forest History Society, Research Grant, 1992.

Bankard Fund for Political Economy, Research Grant, 1992.

National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, 1990.

Innovative Teaching Fund Grant, Harvard University, 1990.

American Association for State and Local History Grant, 1988.

The Brookings Institution, graduate research fellowship, 1986.

Media Appearances