headshot photo of Dr. Robert Slayton

Dr. Robert Slayton

Professor, Henry Salvatori Professorship in American Values and Traditions
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of History
Office Location: Roosevelt Hall 138
Office Hours: T/TH 2:30-3:30p
Phone: 714-997-6969
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
State University of New York At Buffalo, Bachelor of Arts
Northwestern University, Master of Arts
Northwestern University, Ph.D.


Robert Slayton is the Henry Salvatori Professor of American Values and Traditions at the Department of History, Chapman University. Empire Statesman, his biography of Alfred E. Smith, 1928 presidential candidate and the first Roman Catholic to run for the nation's highest office was endorsed by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro, who called it "vivid and insightful;" while Hasia Diner, holder of the Steinberg Chair at New York University, referred to it as an "exemplary biographical narrative." It has been reviewed in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and in the New Yorker; the listing on Smith in Wikipedia cites Empire Statesman as the standard biographical work on this figure. He is the author of eight books, including Back of the Yards (University of Chicago Press) and New Homeless and Old (Temple University Press), and Master of the Air (University of Alabama Press). Back of the Yards got chosen by Choice, the library journal, as one of its "Outstanding Books" of that year, while New Homeless was awarded Honorable Mention for the Paul Davidoff Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. His articles have appeared in Commentary, New Mobility, and Salon, and in newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Orange County Register. He has posted over one-hundred-twenty articles on the Huffington Post. His latest book, Beauty in the City, received a Gold Medal in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) in the US Northeast - Best Regional Non-Fiction Category and the  Silver Medal for the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award in the History category.

Dr. Slayton's publications  you can find on Amazon:

Beauty in the city
Beauty in the City
Excelsior Editions (2017)


Arms of Destruction

Arms of Destruction
Citadel, (2004)

Back Yards

Back of the Yards
University of Chicago Press, (1988)

Empire Statesman

Empire Statesman
Free Press, (2007)


New Homeless and Old
Temple University Press, (1990)

Master of Airweb

Master of Air: William Tunner and the Success of Military Airlift
University Alabama Press, (2010)

Most Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications:

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

BEAUTY IN THE CITY: THE ASHCAN SCHOOL. Albany: SUNY Press, 2017. "Herbert Hoover," in HATRED OF AMERICA'S PRESIDENTS: PERSONAL ATTACKS ON THE WHITE HOUSE FROM WASHINGTON TO TRUMP, ed. Lori Cox Han (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018), 212-221. Robert Chiles, The Revolution of ’28 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018) in JOURNAL OF AMERICAN ETHNIC HISTORY38: 1 (Spring 2019), pp. 121-122. Linda Gordon, The Second Coming of the KKK (New York: Liveright, 2017) in LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS, February 1, 2018. Review essay: “’My Antonia’ Revisited”, in LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS, October 25, 2017.
“Made in New York,” in THE BEST OF NEW YORK ARCHIVES (Albany: SUNY Press, 2017), pp. 321-325.
“New York Masterpiece,” in THE BEST OF NEW YORK ARCHIVES (Albany: SUNY Press, 2017), pp. 363-367.
--“On Prohibition,” REVIEWS IN AMERICAN HISTORY Vol 44 No 3 (September 2016), pp. 478-483.
--The Orange County Register published a piece I wrote on a Chapman Student: “The meaning of being an American today.” ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, August 17, 2017.
“The Business of Politics,” in New York Archives 12 (Spring 2013), pp. 30-33.
“A Wheelchair-Bound Native New Yorker Says His Home City Has Let Him Down.” NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, March 22, 2012.
“Reenacting Evil,” COMMENTARY, October 2011, pp. 43-45.
“When A Catholic Terrified the Heartland.” NEW YORK TIMES, Sunday Review Section, December 11, 2011.