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Staten Island: Conservative Bastion in a Liberal City, Daniel C. Kramer and Richard M. Flanagan

Reviewed by Bruce Berg

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The concept of borough identity has been embedded in New York City’s political history since the consolidation of the city at the turn of the last century. The 1989 charter revision that abolished the Board of Estimate significantly weakened borough representation in city government. This decline in borough power has been exacerbated further by the decline in strong borough‐based party organizations, changing borough demographics, the “Manhattanization” of some of the outer boroughs, and 20 years of mayors who have paid little attention to borough political identity. This recent decline, however, should not necessarily be viewed as the death of the boroughs and their place in the politics and governance of New York City.

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.DanielC.Kramerand RichardM. 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

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