|Author||Robert W. Snyder|
|File size||3.2 MB|
Crossing Broadway is a terrific book that successfully links the story of immigrant communities and ethnic succession in Washington Heights to the larger history of the city of New York and the nation at large. Robert W. Snyder shows how the topography of northern Manhattan reinforced boundaries of race, class and ethnicity and made efforts to unite the community around common interests more difficult. He usefully reminds us that history is made, not by impersonal forces such as deindustrialization or market revitalization, but by the actions of individuals who, in the case of Washington Heights, remade their city in the face of capital flight, crime and community abandonment.
Crossing Broadway is a comprehensive, compelling, and honest narrative about Washington Heights and its different ethnic, racial, and religious groups. The book narrates a story of failures and triumphs experienced by the immigrant groups and their children. The reader will appreciate the delicate manner and sensitivity Robert W. Snyder uses when analyzing difficult moments in the history of the neighborhood: racial and ethnic discrimination against Blacks, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans and anti-Semitism against Jews; the violence provoked by deviant groups, particularly youth gangs; the heated years of drug trafficking in Washington Heights; the political rivalries between established white politicians and the emerging Dominican politicians, and the confrontations between Dominicans and the police. With a photographic sensibility, Snyder vividly sets the scene and describes how groups fought and stigmatized each other, and then ended up rubbing elbows with one another, either because these groups managed to undermine their ignorance and lost their fear of each other or because they simply had no choice.