Tyler Anbinder

Tyler Anbinder headshot

Tyler Anbinder



801 22nd St NW Washington DC 20052

Tyler Anbinder is a specialist in nineteenth-century America and the history of immigration and ethnicity in American life. His latest book, to be published in March 2024 by Little, Brown, is entitled Plentiful Country: The Great Potato Famine and the Making of Irish New York. That project's digital history component, created with research assistance from more than two dozen GW students, can be found at http://beyondragstoriches.org. His most recent book before Plentiful Country was City of Dreams (2016), a history of immigrant life in New York City from the early 1600s to the present.  And prior to that, in 2001, he published Five Points, a history of nineteenth-century America's most infamous immigrant neighborhood, focusing in particular on tenement life, inter-ethnic relations, and ethnic politics.  His first book, Nativism and Slavery (1992), analyzed the role of the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic Know Nothing party on the political crisis that led to the Civil War. Professor Anbinder has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and held the Fulbright Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Utrecht. He has won awards for his scholarship from the Organization of American Historians, the Columbia University School of Journalism, and the journal Civil War History. He also served as a historical consultant to Martin Scorsese for the making of The Gangs of New York.

Complete C.V. (PDF)

  • American Immigration History
  • Civil War-Era American Politics
  • History of New York City
  • The History of American Nativism
  • 19th-century United States
  • Urban Studies

HIST 2305: Majors Introductory Seminar

HIST 2312: The Civil War and Reconstruction

HIST 3366: Immigration, Ethnicity, and the American Experience

HIST 4098W: Thesis Seminar

HIST 6001: Writing History

HIST 6360: Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

HIST 6311: The Era of the Civil War, 1850-1877

Plentiful Country: The Great Potato Famine and the Making of Irish New York (New York: Little, Brown, 2024)

“The Problem of False Positives in Automated Census Linking: Nineteenth-Century New York’s Irish Immigrants as a Case Study,” Historical Methods 57 (Jan.-March 2024), co-authored with Dylan Connor, Cormac Ó Gráda, and Simone Wegge.

“‘The Best Country in the World’: “The Surprising Social Mobility of New York’s Irish-Famine Immigrants,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 53 (Winter 2023): 407-438 (co-authored with Cormac Ó Gráda and Simone Wegge).

“Assisted Emigration as Famine Relief: Lessons from the Lansdowne Estate,” in Kerry: History and Society: Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County, Maurice J. Bric, ed. (Dublin 2020), 367-390 (co-authored with Cormac Ó Gráda and Simone Wegge).

“Networks and Opportunities: A Digital History of Ireland’s Great Famine Refugees in New York,” American Historical Review 124 (Dec. 2019): 1590-1629 (co-authored with Simone Wegge and Cormac Ó Gráda).

“Immigrants and Savers: A Rich New Database on the Irish in 1850s New York,” Historical Methods 50 (July-Sept. 2017): 144-55. (co-authored with Simone Wegge and Cormac Ó Gráda).

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.

Which Irish Men and Women Immigrated to the United States During the Great Famine Migration of 1846-54?” Co-authored with GW undergraduate Hope McCaffrey, Irish Historical Studies 39 (Nov. 2015): 620-642.

“Irish Origins and the Shaping of Immigrant Life in Savannah on the Eve of the Civil War.” Journal of American Ethnic History 35 (Fall 2015): 5-37

“‘Peaceably If We Can, Forcibly If We Must’: Immigrants and Popular Politics in Pre-Civil War New York.” In Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War, edited by Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith, 196-221. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2015.    

“Oscar Handlin, Boston’s Immigrants and the Making of American Immigration History.” Journal of American Ethnic History 23 (Spring 2013): 19-25.

"Moving Beyond 'Rags to Riches': New York's Irish Famine Immigrants and their Surprising Savings Accounts." Journal of American History 99 (December 2012): 741-770.

"Saving Grace: The Emigrant Savings Bank and Its Depositors." In Catholics in New York: Society, Culture, and Politics, 1808-1946, edited by Terry Golway, 83-92. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008.

"Isaiah Rynders and the Ironies of Popular Democracy in Antebellum New York." In Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History, edited by Manisha Sinha and Penny Von Eschen, 31-53. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

"Which Poor Man's Fight? Immigrants and the Federal Conscription of 1863." Civil War History 52 (December 2006): 344-372. Winner, John T. Hubbell Prize for the best article in Civil War History in 2006.

"Nativism and Prejudice Against Immigrants: An Historiographic Assessment." In A Companion to American Immigration, edited by Reed Ueda, 177-201. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.

"From Famine to Five Points: Lord Lansdowne's Irish Tenants Encounter North America's Most Notorious Slum." The American Historical Review 107 (April 2002): 351-387.

Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood that Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum. New York: Free Press, 2001. Named a Notable Book by the New York Times (2001) and one of "Twenty-Five Books to Remember" by the New York Public Library (2001).

"Lord Palmerston and the Irish Famine Emigration." The (Cambridge) Historical Journal 44 (Summer 2001): 441-469.

 "Ulysses S. Grant, Nativist." Civil War History 43 (June 1997): 119-140.

"'Boss' Tweed: Nativist," Journal of the Early Republic 15 (Spring 1995): 109-116.

Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.  Winner, 1993, Avery Craven Prize of the Organization of American Historians for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction.

Ph.D., Columbia University, 1990
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1984