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

By Daniel Wolff

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

When Bruce Springsteen known as his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, he brought a iteration of lovers to a fallen beach inn 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 path via Asbury Park's a hundred thirty years of entwined social and musical heritage, in a narrative that captures all of the attract and heartbreak of the yank dream.

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Their regulation nine-piece bathing suits included blouse, vest, pantaloons, stockings, kerchief, shoes, and a bonnet: a total of seven square yards of cold, clammy cloth. Males wore full suits of the same blue flannel, with loose pants, jackets, and sun hats. As a character in an 1890s short story complained, "It ain't a bathing suit. It's an auditorium, a ballroom, or something. " You could cover up the human body and dictate proper etiquette, but by the Fourth of July, 1885, the contradictions of a religious resort town were obvious.

Cockfights were staged next to billiard halls. Hookers waited outside former mansions. And the small hotels offered free "vaudevilles" to attract customers. These included a little bit of everything, from ventriloquism to dancing, circus acts to comics. The young Bradley loved the shows, often going to three a week. As a thirteen-year-old, he was in the right place to have witnessed the development of one of the most popular styles of the day: the minstrel show. In a Bowery theater in February 1843, a quartet of white performers put on blackface and, using a heavy "nigger" accent, helped start what would become a national fad.

Arts— New Jersey— Asbury Park— History. 2. Rock music— New Jersey— Asbury Park— History. 3. Rock groups— New Jersey— Asbury Park— History. 4. )— History. 5. )— Intellectual life. 6. )— Social conditions. I. Title: Fourth of July, Asbury Park. II. Title. 9'46-dc22 2004026965 First published in the United States by Bloomsbury USA in 2005 This paperback edition published in 2006 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Typeset by Hewer Text Ltd, Edinburgh Printed in the United States of America by Quebecor World Fairfield For the ones who have a notion Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called to speak here today?

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