Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Robert Snyder's Great New Book:"Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City"

" am in the middle of reading Robert Snyder's 'Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City' and will tell you straight out, it is one of the best pieces of New York City social history I have read in a long time. It contains incredible interview material as well as displaying a familiarity with every documentary source available and is written with clarity, insight and occasionally with eloquence. Few people have written with greater insight about how race, religion and nationality shape life in rapidly changing New York City neighborhoods. The book begins at a time when Washington Heights was a predominantly Jewish and Irish neighborhood, discusses the sometimes fierce resistance to Black and Latino migration inside its borders, covers years of disinvestment and drug epidemics and deals in great depth with the huge Dominican presence within its boundaries which is now threatened by gentrification. It was extremely helpful to me in writing the introduction to my book of Bronx Oral Histories, but I recommend it to anyone interested in NYC neighborhood life.