Cover of Sam Roberts' book The New Yorkers, which has a collage of black-and-white photos of people and text boxes floating over it with the title and author.

What can our fellow New Yorkers teach us about our city’s history?

Over the past four centuries, around one billion people have called New York home at one point in their lives. The New Yorkers tells the stories of thirty-one of these individuals, highlighting some of our city’s most remarkable, but often overlooked, residents. Join us for an engaging conversation with Sam Roberts as we understand New York’s history through the biographies of its denizens.

The New Yorkers (Bloomsbury Publishing, October 2022) features, among others, the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island, the victim of the city’s first recorded murder, the inventor of the modern tabloid, and the officer behind the NYPD’s transformative CompStat program. This book aims to add the names of these long-lost New Yorkers to our city’s historical narrative. Sam Roberts weaves the stories of these individuals into an epic tale about NYC’s growth and evolution.

Join us in-person at the Brooklyn Public Library‘s Central Library at 6:00 PM for a lively conversation between Sam Roberts and OHNY Board Vice President Saundra Thomas highlighting the lives of some of these New Yorkers and how they’ve shaped the city in ways that impact us all today.

Purchase The New Yorkers here.

AIA CES credit (1 LU) is available for this program.

Speaker bios:

Sam Roberts, a 50-year veteran of New York journalism, is an obituaries reporter and formerly the Urban Affairs correspondent at the New York Times. He hosts the New York Times “Close Up,” which he inaugurated in 1992, and the podcasts “Only in New York,” anthologized in a book of the same name, and “The Caucus.” He is the author of A History of New York in 27 Buildings, A History of New York in 101 Objects, and Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America, among others. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, New York, Vanity Fair, and Foreign Affairs. A history adviser to Federal Hall, he lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

Saundra Thomas is Principal of SPT Consults and lends her expertise on strategic planning, team building and board development to nonprofits. Most recently, she was Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV, where she led the strategic vision for community outreach, station visibility, and philanthropy while working with 200+ nonprofits in the tristate. Thomas has made community service the center of her life and was a candidate for New York City Council in 2013.


OHNY Stacks is a series of book talks exploring the unknown, the unseen, and the unnoticed. Join us on Thursday evenings with authors of highly acclaimed books critical to understanding the past, present, and future of New York—as well as national trends or global issues that influence the shape, structure, and experience of cities and urban life today.

Dweck Cultural Center
Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Subway: 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza; B, Q to 7th Avenue