Watchung Booksellers Hosts Asbury Park Historian Daniel Wolff

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Watchung Booksellers will host author Daniel Wolff in a virtual talk about his new book “Fourth of July, Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land.” He’ll be in conversation with local author Dewar MacLeod on Thursday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Bruce Springsteen brought international attention to the Jersey shore with his debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.” But the real Asbury Park has an even more fascinating story behind it: a seaside city of dreams that became a magnet for both the best and worst of America, playing host to John Philip Sousa, Count Basie, and Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the mob and the Ku Klux Klan.

“Fourth of July, Asbury Park” tells the city’s complex story, from its development of lavish amusement parks and bandstands to its decay of its working-class neighborhoods and spread of racially-segregated ghettos. Featuring exclusive interviews with Springsteen and other prominent Asbury Park residents, Daniel Wolff uncovers the history of how this Jersey shore resort town came to epitomize both the promises of the American dream and the tragic consequences when those promises are broken.

Dewar MacLeod is a professor of history at William Paterson University whose most recent book is “Making the Scene in the Garden State.” He is also co-owner of Legacy Coffee in Montclair.
The event is free. Register at or at

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  1. This sounds really cool. I spend a lot of time in AP and am tangentially aware that there is/was another whole “main street” area which has not really recovered from the troubles of the 60s/70s. It would be interesting to hear his take on it.

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