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 actual property, political hardball and seashore pleasure-seeking."―A.O. Scott, New York instances booklet Review

When Bruce Springsteen known as his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, he brought a iteration of lovers to a fallen seashore inn city that got here to symbolize working-class American existence. beginning with the town's founding as a non secular promised land, song journalist and poet Daniel Wolff plots a path via Asbury Park's one hundred thirty years of entwined social and musical background, in a narrative that captures the entire attract and heartbreak of the yankee dream.

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Sample text

By the time he'd turned twenty-one, he was foreman at the brush factory. He married Helen Packard, an educated Rutgers student: timid, gentle, and devout. The two of them resolved to start their own business and, through extraordinary self-discipline, managed to save one thousand dollars. " The Bradleys were determined to leave that class behind. In 1857, they completed payment on a lot uptown. Then, borrowing the capital, the twenty-seven-year-old Bradley launched his own brush company. He couldn't have picked a worse time.

Mrs. Bradley set about teaching him how to read and, placing a Bible in his hands, began the work of conversion. It's not clear whether the colored man, then in his mid-forties, was a Baptist or a nonbeliever, but the proselytizing made him uneasy. "You are trying to do right," James Bradley would exhort him. " This fit perfectly with Bradley's seashore adventure. Not only would he start a new life in the wilderness, but Robinson Crusoe would bring Friday to Christ. That's what this real estate development was all about, after all.

Day in, day out, for more than a decade, he's run a brush factory: hairbrushes, horse brushes, paintbrushes, scrub brushes. The business, which he started from scratch, has made him rich— and has taken its toll both physically and spiritually. He's just turned forty, is married but childless. Self-made, he wonders why he worked so hard and sacrificed so much. Even his deep Methodist faith doesn't seem able to sustain him. Coming up Broadway, he notices a fellow Methodist, and the two men stop to chat.

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