An American tourist in Europe stopped at a restaurant in Gdansk, Poland, and struck up a conversation with a local. "Where do you come from?" he asked. "New Jersey," she said. He smiled and replied, "Ah, Sopranos!"
Even fans of that popular show, one that held viewers captive, may be a bit disheartened to discover that the first thing that pops into minds around the world about New Jersey is a dysfunctional crime family, just an exit or two off the infamous N.J. Turnpike. But there's no need to live in fear that the only culture and history that the state is known for is, well, let's say, a bit of bada bing. Actually, the echo of the Big Bangùthe cosmic event that marked the birth of our universe some 13.7 billion years agoùwas first identified by scientists from Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey.
In this lively romp through history from the primitive past to the present day, Marc Mappen's message resonatesùThere's More to New Jersey than the Sopranos. Real tales, wise tales, tall tales abound throughout the pages of Mappen's collection, filled with zest, humor, scandal, and occasionally tragedy. Annie Oakley. Ulysses S. Grant. Benedict Arnold. Ezra Pound. Shoeless Joe Jackson. These luminaries and many others share a common bond with the state that witnessed prehistoric elephants roaming its pastures, the explosion on the USS Princeton, a Martian invasion, famous firsts like the phonograph, electric light, and movies, and, well, step aside Tony Soprano: mobster Al Capone strolling along the Atlantic City boardwalk.
Providing a lens into American history through lively prose and more than twenty-five illustrations, There's More to New Jersey than the Sopranos is as much fun as a trip to the Jersey Shore and definitely more rewarding than a night home watching televisionù simply stated, this book is one you can't refuse to read.
|Publisher:||Rutgers University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Marc Mappen is the coeditor of the award-winning Encyclopedia of New Jersey and author of Jerseyana: The Underside of New Jersey History (both Rutgers University Press). He has written articles for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Rutgers Magazine, New Jersey Heritage, and other publications and has appeared on the History Channel and National Public Radio.
Table of Contents
1 How We Got to Where We Are
2 When Prehistoric Elephants Roamed New Jersey
3 New Jersey Was Paradise
4 Move Over Betsy Ross
5 Good Golly, Miss Molly
6 The Caldwell Murder Case
7 "The Cow Chace"
8 Classical Gas
9 The Congressman's Cold
10 The First Flight
11 John Adams's Ass
12 Man Eats Tomato and Lives!
13 Explosion on the USS Princeton
14 Two New Jersey Soldiers in Confederate Prisons
15 General Grant Skips the Theater
16 The Jersey General and the Secret of Custer's Last Stand
17 Poor Mary Smith
18 Mrs. Stanton Steps Out in Tenafly
19 It's About Time
20 Leprosy in the Laundry
21 Stephen Crane Gets into Trouble
22 The Ghostly Sphynx of Metedeconk
23 Annie Oakley Lived in Nutley, New Jersey
24 Scandal at the Girls' Reform School
25 Alice Goes for a Drive
26 Billy Sunday Came to Trenton on Monday
27 Ezra Pound Insults Newark
28 Cher Ami
29 The Poet, the Athlete, and the War to End All Wars
30 The Applejack Campaign
31 Swan Song for Shoeless Joe
32 The Tragic Fall of the Mexican Lindbergh
33 On the Boardwalk with Al Capone
34 The Morro Castle Mystery
35 The Rise and Fall of a Great Detective
36 Mommy Was a Commie
37 The Martian Invasion
38 When New Jersey Was a Nazi Target
39 Teleporting Penguin Lands in New Jersey
40 The Serpent in the Garden State: A Brief History of Corruption
41 Postscript: How to Write an Encyclopedia of New Jersey in Nine Easy Years