Download 4th of July, Asbury Park. A History of the Promised Land by Daniel Wolff PDF

By Daniel Wolff

"Wonderfully evocative…a grand, unhappy tale of racism and genuine property, political hardball and beach pleasure-seeking."―A.O. Scott, New York occasions e-book Review

When Bruce Springsteen known as his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, he brought a new release of enthusiasts to a fallen seashore hotel city that got here to symbolize working-class American lifestyles. beginning with the town's founding as a spiritual promised land, song journalist and poet Daniel Wolff plots a direction via Asbury Park's a hundred thirty years of entwined social and musical historical past, in a narrative that captures the entire attract and heartbreak of the yank dream.

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Here, topsoil was brought in so roses could bloom, and carriage houses were added with the servant quarters up above. This is where the architects, doctors, and lawyers lived. Then came the commercial district. Bradley's dream was carefully sectioned off, controlled. It ended at Main Street, where the railroad tracks ran. But there was a city beyond that. Once you crossed the tracks, heading away from the shore, you entered what felt like a different country. Here, on unpaved streets, workers had thrown up what many had first thought of as temporary dwellings.

Since the day Bradley had bushwhacked north from Wesley Lake, his acres of briar and sand had grown into a resort worth $2 million. The city of Asbury Park featured two hundred hotels and boardinghouses that offered some eleven thousand rooms: more than double Long Branch's capacity and three thousand more than Atlantic City. While its summer population sometimes reached fifty thousand, Asbury Park also had three thousand year-round residents. " New Jersey had legislated compulsory school in 1874, and Asbury's original single classroom, which Bradley's niece had run, was now a $10,000 brick building with seven hundred students.

They threw a piece of canvas over the beams of one of the first buildings going up, made their "couch" of horse blankets and carriage cushions, and after a supper of dry crackers, fell asleep in the construction site. The next morning, they woke and looked out over nothing but sand and sea. "Mr. " Bradley, on the other hand, was energized by the sight. After breakfast, they rode down to look over his new property, which sat at the edge of a small natural lake. " Daniel Defoe had described his 1719 novel as a story of the "religious application of events .

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