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 is the Henry Salvatori Professorship in American Values and Traditions; Professor of History. His latest work, Beauty in the City:  The Ashcan School, will be published in Fall 2017 by the SUNY Press. 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. He is the author of seven 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 major work is Empire Statesman (The Free Press/Simon & Schuster), a biography of Alfred E. Smith, 1928 presidential candidate and the first Roman Catholic to run for the nation's highest office. This work 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 has also received the Wang-Fradkin Award, Chapman University's highest honor. His courses include the Senior Seminar, African-American History, Everyday Life in America and American After the War, 1945-1960.

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

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.
--SUNY Press has been processing the manuscript of my book on Ash Can School art. It has been approved by two outside readers and passed by the review committee of the Press’ editors. In late September it goes to the full editorial board, with very good prospects. --“’Children in Europe Are Europe’s Problem!’,” COMMENTARY. October 2014, pp. 45-47. Many thanks for sharing your recent Commentary article with me. I will proudly include it in the next Press Clippings Book that is sent out to all of our board members. James L. Doti --“Don’t Ask For The Menu.” NEW YORK TIMES, Metropolitan Diary, print edition February 23, 2015, online edition February 18, 2015. --My piece, “Hollywood Stays the Course”, HUFFINGTON POST, Decenber23, 2014, was on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post’s Entertainment Section. --University of Chicago Press asked me to write a back-of-jacket blurb for one of their books, Dominic Pacyga’s history of the Stockyards --Was asked by Nevada State College to be an outside reviewer on a candidate for promotion to Full Professor. --sold my piece on the first American servicemen to discover the Holocaust to the San Diego Jewish Journal --“Joe DiMaggio and America.” L’ITALO-AMERICANO, digital edition, July28, 2015. (http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2015-7-28/joe-dimaggio). Also reprinted in the OC Register, August 18, 2015. Struppa: “Thank you Bob. A thoughtful piece, with the potential to teach us something.” --I served on two CRASsh groups: War and Society and Disability Studies.
“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.
“When A Catholic Terrified the Heartland.” NEW YORK TIMES, Sunday Review Section, December 11, 2011.
“Reenacting Evil,” COMMENTARY, October 2011, pp. 43-45.