In certain neighborhoods of New York City, an immigrant may live out his or her entire life without even becoming fluent in English. From the Russians of Brooklyn's Brighton Beach to the Dominicans of Manhattan's Washington Heights, New York is arguably the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Yet no wide-ranging ethnic history of the city has ever been attempted. In All the Nations Under Heaven, Frederick Binder and David Reimers trace the shifting tides of New York's ethnic past, from its beginnings as a Dutch trading outpost to the present age where Third World immigration has given the population a truly global character. All the Nations Under Heaven explores the processes of cultural adaptation to life in New York, giving a lively account of immigrants new and old, and of the streets and neighborhoods they claimed and transformed. All the Nations Under Heaven provides a comprehensive look at the unique cultural identities that have wrought changes on the city over nearly four centuries since Europeans first landed on the Atlantic shore.
While detailing the various efforts to retain a cultural heritage, the book also looks at how ethnic and racial groups have interacted-and clashed-over the years. From the influx of Irish and Germans in the nineteenth century to the recent arrival of Caribbean and Asian ethnic groups in large numbers, All the Nations Under Heaven explores the social, cultural, political, and economic lives of immigrants as they sought to form their own communities and struggled to define their identities within the grwonig heterogeneity of New York. In this timely, provocative book, Binder and Reimers offer insight into the cultural mosaic of New York at the turn of the millennium, where despite a civic pride that emphasizes the goals of diversity and tolerance, racial and ethnic conflict continue to shatter visions of peaceful coexistence.
Frederick Binder was a professor Emeritus of history at The City University of New York. David Reimers is professor emeritus in history at NYU. He is the co-author of Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration (Columbia University Press, 2009) and Unwelcome Strangers: American Identity and the Turn Against Immigration (Columbia University Press, 1999). Robert Snyder is associate professor in the department of American Studies at Rutgers-Newark. He is the author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press, 2014) and Transit Talk: New York's Bus and Subway Workers Tell Their Stories (Rutgers University Press, 1998). In addition to scholarly journals, his work has also been published in The Nation, the New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other general-interest publications.
Preface ix 1. Multiethnic from the Beginning: New York City, the Colonial and Revolutionary Years 1 2. Dynamic Growth and Diversity: The City and its People, 1789-1880 33 3. Diversity in Action: Irish and German Immigrants in a Growing City, 1789-1880 59 4. Old and New Immigrants in Greater New York City, 1880 to World War I 93 5. Jews and Italians in Greater New York City, 1880 to World War I 114 6. Ethnic New Yorkers from the Great War to the Great Depression 149 7. A Time of Trial: New Yorkers During the Great Depression and World War II 176 8. A Better Time: New York City, 1945-1970 197 9. Truly a Global City: New York, 1970 to the Present 225 Afterword 259 Notes 263 Selected Reading 315 Index 319