That Ever Loyal Island: Staten Island and the American Revolution, by Phillip Papas
NYU Press (March 1, 2009)
This is a wonderful summary of the main events and personalities that were connected to Staten Island during the British occupation during the American Revolution from 1776 to 1783. Although much of the ground that the author covers in his present book has already been covered in other books about Staten Island during the American Revolution, the author focuses on the political alliances and the ramifications of Loyalist and Povincial Staten Islanders. This abbreviated history could have been written a bit more clearly, in that the author continues to go back and forth in describing certain events, rather than laying out a more cogent and chronological timeline for the history. There are certainly some very colorful anecdotal histories about the so-called loyalist Islanders and their fence-sitting during the war, and there are some humorous descriptions of the interactions between the British and the neutral Islanders. What I think would have strengthened the history would have been a much better and more detailed map of Staten Island during the Revolutionary War years depicting the major houses and taverns that the personalities resided in. Also, some colorful pictures of the beauty of the Island during the 18th century would have added to the clarity and aesthetics of the book. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this history. I am writing about Revolutionary War sites on Staten Island presenly, so this book is very helpful.