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Wechsler, Robert

A product of the public schools in Brooklyn, I attended Brooklyn College and taught in the history department. I am interested in how working people create institutions in their communities in order to survive and maintain their identities in the face of the dominant culture. My dissertation on the east end of London examined how Jewish immigrants created their own institutions including trade unions in order to survive. For many years, I served as the national research and education director for the Transport Workers Union training officers and members in collective bargaining. I have been assisting working people and their unions in New York to preserve and reclaim their history. I returned to CUNY in 2010 as director of Lehman College’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies for three years and have been teaching in BCC’s history department since 2011.

Ph.D., History, Columbia University, 1979
M.A., History, Columbia University, 1972
B.A., Brooklyn College, History, 1971

Recent Courses Taught:
HIS 10 History of the Modern World
HIS 11 Introduction to the Modern World

Research Interests:
Labor history, social and economic history, public history

Honors, Awards, and Affiliations:
  • New York Labor History Association, President, Board Member
  • United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Research Advisory Council
  • Robert Wagner Labor Archives, New York University, Advisory Board
  • New York City Transit Museum, Advisory Board
  • International Labor Communications Association Special Award for Journalistic Achievement
  • Columbia University President's Fellow
  • Fellow of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University

Select Publications:
  • "The Railway Labor Act,” “Michael J. Quill,” and “Transport Workers Union,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History, Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • "The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War" by Ivar Bernstein, The New York Times Book Review, January 7, 1990.
  • Labor and Politics: A Bibliography of Labor's Role in the Political Process. New York: National Endowment for the Humanities, 1982.
  • New York Labor Heritage: A Bibliography of New York City Labor History. New York: Robert Wagner Labor Archives, New York University, 1981.
  • Burning Bright: The History of Local 101, Transport Workers Union. New York: Astoria Press 1981.

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