Others, much less so.
Mr. Fitzpatrick writes about a memorial in Grand Central Terminal that is dedicated to subway workers lost in the war; a salute to Flanders Fields in Hellâs Kitchen (a statue of a soldier holding poppies in his outstretched hand); York Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, named not for the Duke of York but for Sgt. Alvin C. York, who in a single battle killed at least 25 Germans and captured 132 prisoners; and the Knickerbocker Hotel, where the opera singer Enrico Caruso, in a premature celebration of the armistice, appeared on a terrace and burst into âThe Star-Spangled Banner.â
There is also an 81-foot-tall obelisk in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said to be the cityâs tallest, honoring sailors who helped blockade German warships off Dover, England; and a bust of Mayor John Purroy Mitchel. (After Mitchelâs support for the allies cost him re-election, he joined the Army Aviation Corps and was killed on a training flight while flying upside down in an open cockpit without a seatbelt.)
Robert P. Watson resurrects an earlier war in âThe Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution.â
Other authors have chronicled the horrific conditions American captives were subjected to (Edwin G. Burrows in his âForgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary Warâ and Barnet Schecter in âThe Battle for New Yorkâ), but itâs a tale worth retelling.
Dr. Watson, a professor of American studies at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., focuses on the H.M.S. Jersey, a former British warship, which was built to carry 400 sailors, and which was transformed into a notorious floating prison. As many as 1,200 captives at a time were crammed into the rudderless…