10/31: Tyler Anbinder on “City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York”

This idea that contemporary immigrants “aren’t like my grandparents” prevails not just among average Americans, but even among many academics. In City of Dreams, however, Tyler Anbinder demonstrates that the widely held belief that today’s Latino and Asian immigrants are not like the Europeans of yesteryear is false in almost every particular. Anbinder argues that whether one looks at work experiences, living conditions, treatment by native-born Americans, political participation, assimilation, transnationalism, or socio-economic mobility, the similarities among immigrants from century to century far outweigh the differences.

Tyler Anbinder is a professor of history at George Washington University specializing in American immigration history and the politics of the Civil War era. His first book, Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850s (1992) won the Avery Craven Prize of the Organization of American Historians. His second, Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York Neighborhood that Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum (2001), led to his work as an advisor to Martin Scorsese on The Gangs of New York. Anbinder’s history of immigrant life in New York, City of Dreams, will be published in October.

4:00pm – 5:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support