National Archives at New York City

Author Lecture and Book Signing

May 6, 2015 at Noon


New York City, NY: Conceived in Politics, Born in Ridicule, and Reared in Opposition': The Fantastic and Fascinating Story of Harlem's 15th/369th Regiment AKA 'The Rattlers'

Though discussed in numerous histories and featured in popular culture (most famously the film Stormy Weather and the novel Jazz), the 369th has become more a matter of mythology than accurate history. This book—which eschews the regiment's famous nickname, the "Harlem Hellfighters," a name never embraced by the unit itself—tells the full story of the self-proclaimed Harlem Rattlers. Combining the "fighting focus" of military history with the insights of social commentary, Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War reveals the centrality of military service and war to the quest for equality as it details the origins, evolution, combat exploits, and postwar struggles of the 369th.

Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War will be available for $38.00 at this event. A book signing will also occur directly after the event.

Jeffrey T. Sammons is professor in the Department of History at New York University.


Author talks are held in the National Archives at New York City, Learning Center, 3rd floor, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, One Bowling Green, New York City, NY. 10004.


Due to limited space, contact us at: or 866-840-1752 to reserve a space.

This program is free and open to the public.

Please note: Due to the inclement weather of the winter, this talk was postponed from February.

About the National Archives at New York City

The National Archives at New York City maintains the historically significant records of Federal agencies and courts in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, dating from 1685 to the present. It also holds select microfilm publications of the National Archives and provides access to a variety of online historical resources. Since 2012, NARA NYC has been headquartered at the historic, 107 year old Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which is a designated National Historic Landmark and also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information about the National Archives at New York City, visit: