Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City

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9780761858317: Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City
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Staten Island is New York City’s smallest yet fastest growing borough: a conservative, suburban community of nearly a half a million on the fringe of the nation’s most liberal, global city. Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City chronicles how this “forgotten borough” has grappled with its uneasy relationship with the rest of the City of New York since the 1920s. Daniel C. Kramer and Richard M. Flanagan analyze the politics behind events that have shaped the borough, such as the opening of the Verrazano Bridge and the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill. Lost opportunities are discussed, including the failure to construct a rail link to the other boroughs of New York, to adequately plan for the explosive housing boom in recent decades and, some say, to create an independent City of Staten Island.

Unlike much of New York City, Staten Island is a place with robust party competition and lively democratic politics with hard-fought campaigns, bitter feuds, and career-ending scandals. Staten Island’s two most successful politicians of the twentieth century—Republicans John Marchi and Guy Molinari—defended the borough’s interests while defining an urban conservativism that would influence politics elsewhere. In fact, Staten Island has played a pivotal role in the winning electoral coalitions of Republican mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg and continues to spark the imaginations of New Yorkers on a scale that is disproportionate to the borough’s relatively small size.

Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City will allow readers to gain access to the borough-based roots of New York City’s politics. This book will be of special interest to anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of middle-class life and democratic representation in a global city.

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About the Author:

The late Daniel C. Kramer joined the faculty of the City University of New York in 1967, retiring as professor emeritus of political science in 1999.

Richard M. Flanagan is associate professor of political science at The College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

Review:

Although its population exceeds that of Wyoming, Staten Island is the smallest New York borough and consequently gets no respect. Urban scholars have written a number of 'city biographies.' Kramer (emer., City Univ. of New York) and Flanagan (College of Staten Island, CUNY) have written a 'borough biography.' Their book covers the island from the 1920s though 2010. It is a well-written and thorough examination of the relationship between the political leaders in New York and the forgotten borough. Topics include the growth caused by the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the efforts to close the Fresh Kills Landfill, the succession movement, and the rise of Reagan Democrats. Kramer and Flanagan identify the current challenges of the borough as the lack of adequate mass transportation, a serious shortage of hospital beds, and unregulated development. They argue that the borough's subordinate status and relatively small population have made it exceedingly difficult to get the New York City government to address these problems. While the political analysis relates the developments on Staten Island to the more general political science literature and national political developments, this book would be of the greatest interest to students of New York City politics. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE)

If a case can be made for the continuance of strong borough recognition and representation in New York City, Staten Island may very well provide the best argument. Daniel C. Kramer and Richard M. Flanagan’s book attempts to provide the evidence. Their work provides a political history of the borough from the Depression to the present. The authors suggest that the reader look at Staten Island as a small city deprived of its ability to engage in democratic self-governance because it has been incorporated into a larger and quite different political jurisdiction. The authors mention the suburban character, white ethnic base, and geographic/topographic proximity to New Jersey as characteristics that separate this borough from the other four. But their strongest argument, and major theme of the book, is that Staten Island has a history of intense two-party competition that the other boroughs lack. The book’s greatest strength is the documentation, primarily via anecdotes and brief political biographies, of the party competition, and intra-party factionalism, that the borough has experienced over the past several decades. (Political Science Quarterly)

The new book, "Staten Island: Conservative Bastion In a Liberal City," makes clear that the Island has played a crucial role in city and national politics. (SILive)

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Book Description University Press of America, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Staten Island is New York City s smallest yet fastest growing borough: a conservative, suburban community of nearly a half a million on the fringe of the nation s most liberal, global city. Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City chronicles how this forgotten borough has grappled with its uneasy relationship with the rest of the City of New York since the 1920s. Daniel C. Kramer and Richard M. Flanagan analyze the politics behind events that have shaped the borough, such as the opening of the Verrazano Bridge and the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill. Lost opportunities are discussed, including the failure to construct a rail link to the other boroughs of New York, to adequately plan for the explosive housing boom in recent decades and, some say, to create an independent City of Staten Island. Unlike much of New York City, Staten Island is a place with robust party competition and lively democratic politics with hard-fought campaigns, bitter feuds, and career-ending scandals. Staten Island s two most successful politicians of the twentieth century-Republicans John Marchi and Guy Molinari-defended the borough s interests while defining an urban conservativism that would influence politics elsewhere. In fact, Staten Island has played a pivotal role in the winning electoral coalitions of Republican mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg and continues to spark the imaginations of New Yorkers on a scale that is disproportionate to the borough s relatively small size. Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City will allow readers to gain access to the borough-based roots of New York City s politics. This book will be of special interest to anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of middle-class life and democratic representation in a global city. Seller Inventory # ANB9780761858317

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