About Robert Snyder

Robert W. Snyder is Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and journalism at Rutgers University. Most recently he is the author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York (Cornell) and co-author of All the Nations Under Heaven: Immigrants, Migrants and the Making of New York (Columbia). He was a Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies in Korea and is a member of the New York Academy of History.

Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu.

NBN Episodes hosted by Robert:

Marcia Bricker Halperin, "Kibbitz and Nosh: When We All Met at Dubrow's Cafeteria" (Cornell UP, 2023)

February 25, 2024

Kibbitz and Nosh

Marcia Bricker Halperin
Hosted by Robert Snyder

In the middle decades of the twentieth century in New York City, Dubrow’s cafeterias in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and the garment district of M…

Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

January 22, 2023

Bob Dylan's New York

Dick Weissman
Hosted by Robert Snyder

New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City’s Green…

Stephanie Azzarone, "Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park" (Fordham UP, 2022)

November 30, 2022

Heaven on the Hudson

Stephanie Azzarone
Hosted by Robert Snyder

On the west side of Manhattan, Riverside Park winds between the banks of the Hudson River and the elegant housing of Riverside Drive. In her new book …

Bruce W. Dearstyne, "The Crucible of Public Policy: New York Courts in the Progressive Era" (SUNY Press, 2022)

November 11, 2022

The Crucible of Public Policy

Bruce W. Dearstyne
Hosted by Robert Snyder

During the early twentieth century New York State, with its settlement houses, muckraking journalists, labor unions and national political leaders lik…

Daniel Soyer, "Left in the Center: The Liberal Party of New York and the Rise and Fall of American Social Democracy (Cornell UP, 2021)

August 3, 2022

Left in the Center

Daniel Soyer
Hosted by Robert Snyder

The history of small political parties and the history of the American left are closely intertwined, especially in the book Left in the Center: The Li…

Sean Singer, "Today in the Taxi" (Tupelo Press, 2022)

April 29, 2022

Today in the Taxi

Sean Singer
Hosted by Robert Snyder

The first poem in Sean Singers’ new collection of poetry, Today in the Taxi, published by Tupelo Press, begins with, “Today in the taxi, I brought a m…

Marc Aronson, "Four Streets and a Square: A History of Manhattan and the New York Idea" (Candlewick Press, 2021)

April 20, 2022

Four Streets and a Square

Marc Aronson
Hosted by Robert Snyder

The poet Walt Whitman wrote in his 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass that New York was a “City of the world! (for all races are here, All lands of the e…

Jessica DuLong, "Saved at the Seawall: Stories from the September 11 Boat Lift" (Cornell UP, 2021)

September 13, 2021

Saved at the Seawall

Jessica DuLong
Hosted by Robert Snyder

When terrorists struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 a small fleet of boats on a rescue mission converged on lower Manhattan. In one of…

Larry Kirwan, "Rockaway Blue" (Cornell UP, 2021)

August 23, 2021

Rockaway Blue

Larry Kirwan
Hosted by Robert Snyder

Twenty years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the novel Rockaway Blue (Cornell UP, 2021) probes the griefs, trauma and resilience of…

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, "Names of New York: Discovering the City's Past, Present, and Future Through Its Place-Names" (Pantheon, 2021)

August 18, 2021

Names of New York

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
Hosted by Robert Snyder

Geographer and writer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro has a sharp appreciation for place, history, and the stories we tell to give meaning to our lives. All of …

Adam Hochschild, "Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes" (HMH, 2020)

May 4, 2021

Rebel Cinderella

Adam Hochschild
Hosted by Robert Snyder

In the political ferment of early twentieth century New York City, when socialists and reformers battled sweatshops, and writers and artists thought a…

Hannah Hahn, "They Left It All Behind: Trauma, Loss, and Memory Among Eastern European Jewish Immigrants and their Children" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019)

February 19, 2021

They Left It All Behind

Hannah Hahn
Hosted by Robert Snyder

Hannah Hahn’s They Left It All Behind: Trauma, Loss and Memory Among Eastern European Jewish Immigrants and Their Children (Roman and Littlefield, 202…

Jim Mackin, "Notable New Yorkers of Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Bloomingdale–Morningside Heights" (Fordham UP, 2020)

February 8, 2021

Notable New Yorkers of Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Jim Mackin
Hosted by Robert Snyder

In Notable New Yorkers of Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Bloomingdale-Morningside Heights (Fordham UP, 2020), Jim Mackin introduces readers to almost 60…

Matthew Spady, "The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot: Audubon Park and the Families Who Shaped It" (Fordham UP, 2020)

December 9, 2020

The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot

Matthew Spady
Hosted by Robert Snyder

In northern Manhattan in 1841, the naturalist John James Audubon bought 14 acres of farmland on the banks of the Hudson River and built his family a h…

Philip M. Plotch, "Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City" (Cornell UP, 2020)

July 13, 2020

Last Subway

Philip M. Plotch
Hosted by Robert Snyder

Ever since New York City built one of the world’s great subway systems, no promise has been more tantalizing than the proposal to build a new subway l…

Christopher Bonanos, "Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous" (Henry Holt, 2018)

July 10, 2020


Christopher Bonanos
Hosted by Robert Snyder

In the middle of the twentieth century, a newspaper photographer who went by the name of Weegee took memorable pictures of New York City’s street life…