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"Maxine Lurie and Richard Veit do more than just connect the chronological dots of our sprawling history from the first Lenape inhabitants 12,000 years ago to today’s hectic lifestyles. They’ve culled the talents of 11 scholars and combined their insights and expertise into a resource intended for both students and a general audience. The editors introduce and contextualize a yeasty mix of characters—loyalists, revolutionaries, Federalists, Republicans (soon to be Democrats), Whigs, abolitionists, plutocrats, inventors, reformers, bosses (think Frank Hague) — into nicely organized chapters ranging from the pre-colonial up to suburbanization and cities in distress. This being New Jersey, though, the volume is not without inflections of whimsy."