Daniel E. Burnstein, PhD

PhD, American History

Professor Emeritus, History

Daniel Burnstein CV (PDF)


Daniel Burnstein was born and raised in New Orleans, where his love for history was first sparked. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Texas (Austin), a Master’s in Social Work from Tulane University, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University. Prior to his career as a history professor, he held social work positions for several years, counseling substance abuse clients and working in the behavioral medicine unit of a psychiatric hospital near Philadelphia. In addition to both Core courses, Dr. Burnstein teaches mid-nineteenth-century U.S. history, mid-twentieth-century U.S. history, and the history of U.S. attitudes and policies concerning poverty (from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1980s). His book, Next to Godliness: Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City, was published in 2006 by the University of Illinois Press, which recently released it in a new paperback edition. The book uses prominent street sanitation issues in Progressive Era New York City to help illuminate the attitudes of that era’s social reformers, noting how those attitudes helped garner middle-class support for progressive social policy measures more effectively than in any other prosperous period of U.S. history.  Dr. Burnstein directs the History Department’s Public History Intern Program, placing students in one-quarter internships at Seattle-area museums, archival facilities, historical societies, and similar agencies. Students earn five upper-division History elective course credits in the process. Dr. Burnstein lives in Seattle with his wife Jo, an artist, and their three highly intelligent cats.