Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape

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Mapping New Jersey is the first interpretive atlas of the state in more than one hundred years. New Jersey, small in size with only 4.8 million acres, has a long and complex background. Its past is filled with paradoxes and contradictionsùan agricultural economy for most of its history, New Jersey was also one of the earliest states to turn to manufacturing and chemical research. Today, still championing itself as the "Garden State," New Jersey claims both the highest population density in the country and the largest number of hazardous waste sites. Many see an asphalt oasis, from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway, with cities that sprawl into adjacent suburbs. Yet, after hundreds of years, large areas of New Jersey remain home to horse farms, cornfields, orchards, nurseries, blueberry bushes, and cranberry bogs.

Tracing the changes in environment, land use patterns, demography, transportation, economy, and politics over the course of many centuries, Mapping New Jerseyilluminates the state's transformation from a simple agricultural society to a post-industrial and culturally diverse place inhabited by more people per acre than anywhere else in the country.

An innovator in transportation, from railroads to traffic circles to aviation, New Jersey from its beginnings was a "corridor" state, with a dense Native American trail system once crisscrossed on foot, country roads traveled by armies of the American Revolution, and, lately, the rolling wheels of many sedans, SUVs, hybrids, public and commercial vehicles, and freight. Early to industrialize, it also served as the headquarters for Thomas Edison and the development of the modern American economy. Small in territory and crowded with people, the state works to recycle garbage and, at the same time, best utilize and preserve its land.

New Jersey has been depicted in useful and quite stunning historical maps, many of the best included in Mapping New Jerseyùcrude maps drawn by sixteenth-century navigators; complex and beautifully decorated pieces created by early Dutch cartographers; land maps plotted by seventeenth-century English settlement surveyors; examples of the nineteenth century's scientific revolution in map making that helped locate topography and important mineral resources; detailed insurance maps that correct London map maker William Faden's 1777-78 classic rendering of the state; and aerial photos, remote sensing, and global positioning system maps generated through twenty-first-century technology breakthroughs in cartography.

Integrating new maps, graphs, and diagrams unavailable through ordinary research or Internet searches, Mapping New Jersey is divided into six topical chapters, each accompanied by an introduction and overview telling the story of the state's past and detailing its diversity. Mapping New Jersey, dramatically bold and in full color, travels where New Jersey has gone and the rest of the nation is likely to follow.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The publisher bills this book as "the first interpretive atlas of the state in more than one hundred years," and Mapping New Jersey fulfills that claim with a wealth of visual materials and auxiliary texts that span more four centuries of Garden State developments. This oversized hardcover is much more than an assemblage of previous work; indeed, of the book's approximately 300 maps, 250 are original. Editors Maxine Siegel and Peter Wacker have both authored historical works on the state and qualify as respected specialists in New Jersey history.
Hunterdon County Democrat

"Editors Mazine Lurie and Peter Wacker have put together a beautiful book of historic and current maps that cover every aspect of our state and its people. Their colorful maps with clear descriptions depict everything from the soils that make up the land to the location of Utopian communities."
New Jersey Monthly

"Editors Maxine N. Lurie and Peter O. Wacker and cartographer Michael Siegel have created a fascinating, multifarious portrait of a state that hasn't stood still since European settlers began trading with the Tappan, Hackensack, Raritan, Navasink, Sankhikan, Remkokes, Momakarongk, Sewapois, and other Lenape bands. Famously diverse in population New Jersey is equally various in geology, weather, and soil—in fact we've got 27 kinds. See page 21 for which type is under our feet right now."
New Jersey Savvy Living

"More than you could ever imagine about the Garden State is there for viewing in lush, full color maps, including farmland from the Civil War, population density and ethnicity, religious affiliations, forests, colleges, area codes, radon, rivers and reservoirs—even the railroads of 1860."

"Visually stunning. Siegel's creations for Mapping New Jersey show everything from state wetlands, forests, farmland and major rivers to railroads in 1860, Cold War missile sites, median home values and the number of languages (186) spoken in New Jersey schools."

— Peter Genovese

The Record

"Move over, 'Jersey Shore.' The real New Jersey comes in the form of an atlas called Mapping New Jersey. Sure, books don't come with the instant gratification mastered by MTV, but Mapping New Jersey'sheds light on fascinating facts you probably didn't know about the small but complex Garden State."
Garden State Legacy

"Mapping New Jersey is packed with information. This book brings it all together in one place, making sense of a remarkably complicated place and its history. Five stars: Excellent in scholarship, writing style, and graphic/typography.

"This large-format interpretive atlas documents cartographically and graphically New Jersey's transformation from Garden State to industrial powerhouse to densely populated suburban refuge. The atlas, comprehensive in coverage, takes a topical approach to the organization of space across the state, beginning with the physical environment and land use and including demographic characteristics, economic geography, and political division and subdivision. The section on transportation is especially well done. Cartography ranges from reproduction of maps from the period of European discovery and early land ownership maps through sophisticated digital maps produced specifically for this atlas.
Consistent with the topical approach, one can constructively juxtapose, for instance, geological maps with highway maps, maps of agriculture, or maps of hazardous waste sites; maps of race and ethnicity with maps of electoral behavior or tourism; or transportation maps with maps of mining and industry or suburban development. All may lead readers to develop new hypotheses of spatial interrelationships in New Jersey's continuously evolving human geography. Overall, the editors have compiled and produced a beautiful collection that readers at all levels should find interesting and useful. Highly recommended."
The Beachcomber

"Mapping New Jersey is not just a book filled with pretty maps. It's a comprehensive, interpretive atlas of the state, tracing changes in environment, land-use patterns, demography, transportation, economy and politics over the course of many centuries. This is a terrific book for any map lover, any reader interested in our state and collectors of odd bits of information. Mapping New Jersey is a perfect gift."
Montgomery News

"As a life-long resident, I am a big fan of New Jersey history, and can't get enough of it. If you are like me, you'll love this big, coffee-table-sized book."

— Cliff Moore

Montgomery News - Cliff Moore

"As a life-long resident, I am a big fan of New Jersey history, and can't get enough of it. If you are like me, you'll love this big, coffee-table-sized book."
Star-Ledger - Peter Genovese

"Visually stunning. Siegel's creations for Mapping New Jersey show everything from state wetlands, forests, farmland and major rivers to railroads in 1860, Cold War missile sites, median home values and the number of languages (186) spoken in New Jersey schools."
Chairman, department of geography, Rutgers University - David A. Robinson

"Mapping New Jersey is wonderful, exquisite, spectacular ... far beyond my high expectations!"
Library Journal
Lurie (history, Seton Hall Univ.), Peter O. Wacker (emeritus, geography, Rutgers), and Michael Siegel (geography, Rutgers) have created what is for all intents and purposes the "Atlas of New Jersey," similar to those produced for other states. Thirty-three contributing authors provide the authoritative commentary for more than 75 contemporary historical maps, 120 thematic maps (individual and composite), satellite images, graphs, and illustrations in full color divided into six chapters: "Environment," "Land Use," "Demography," "Transportation," "The Economy," and "History and Politics," comprising 38 articles, each with its own bibliography. This is truly a treasure trove of information about our most densely populated state, encompassing the 400 years from Colonial times to the present. The wide range of topics treated includes the proliferation of telephone area codes, radon risk levels, the evolution of the 21 counties, and the original location and subsequent diaspora of the Lenape (Delaware) Indians, New Jersey's original residents. The maps for "How the State Voted" in presidential and gubernatorial elections are limited to 1856–2008 and 1854–2006 respectively since they rely on blue and red for Democrat and Republican. Results for all elections would have been an interesting addition, with results shown by county with all contesting parties. BOTTOM LINE This unique publication, beautifully crafted yet moderately priced, is an essential purchase for New Jersey residents, former residents (like this reviewer), U.S. history buffs, and all reference collections in and outside of the state.—Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813545851
  • Publisher: Rivergate Books
  • Publication date: 10/10/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 502,025
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 14.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MAXINE N. LURIE is a professor of history at Seton Hall University. She is the author of a number of articles and book chapters primarily on early American and New Jersey history, the editor of A New Jersey Anthology, and the coeditor of the Encyclopedia of New Jersey (both Rutgers University Press).

PETER O. WACKER, professor emeritus of geography at Rutgers University, is the author of The Musconetcong Valley of New Jersey: A Historical Geography; Land and People: A Cultural Geography of Preindustrial New Jersey Origins and Settlement Patterns; and the coauthor of Land Use in Early New Jersey: A Historical Geography (Rutgers University Press).

MICHAEL SIEGEL is the staff cartographer and teacher in the Rutgers University geography department.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, by Maxine N. Lurie and Peter O. Wacker

Chapter 1: Environment
Introduction: David A. Robinson
Landforms: Charles A. Stansfield
Soils: John C. F. Tedrow and Peter O. Wacker
Weather and Climate of New Jersey:  David A. Robinson
Natural Hazards: James K. Mitchell
Coastal Change: Thomas O. Herrington
Vegetation and Wildlife:, Rick Lathrop
Water Resources: Robert M. Hordon

Chapter 2: Land Use
Introduction: Harbans Singh
Settlement Patterns: Peter O. Wacker
The Megapolitan Transformation: Michael H. Ebner
Planned and Utopian Communities: Maxine N. Lurie
Dynamics of New Jersey Agriculture: Robert M. Goodman and Arthur R. Brown, Jr.
Land Renewal: Superfund Sites, Brownfields, and Grayfields, Michael Greenberg
Vacant Buildable Land: Henry J. Mayer

Chapter 3: Demography
Introduction, Briavel Holcomb
Indians, Lorraine Williams
African Americans, Giles R. Wright
Religious Diversity, Frank L. Greenagel
Age and Gender, Briavel Holcomb
Health and Medicine, Karen Reeds
Education, David Hespe

Chapter 4: Transportation
Introduction: Peter O. Wacker
The Era of Straight Roads: Robert Craig
Railroads: John T. Cunningham
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: Jameson W. Doig
Journey to Work (and Elsewhere): Peter O. Wacker

Chapter 5: The Economy
Introduction: James W. Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca
Extractive Industries: Richard Veit
Fishing: Bonnie J. McCay
Clay, Brick, and Glass: Richard Veit
Early Milling and Water Power: Richard W. Hunter
Tourism, Leisure, Hospitality in New Jersey: Briavel Holcomb

Chapter 6: History and Politics
Introduction: Joseph R. Marbach
New Jersey's Boundaries: Maxine N. Lurie
Military History: Mark Edward Lender
Women in New Jersey Politics: Debbie Walsh
Land as Politics and the Politics of Land: Maxine N. Lurie

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