When folks from outside the Garden State talk about New Jersey, the thing at the front of many people’s minds is our state’s infamous turnpike. Oft regarded as a punchline to a joke or something to dread, the iconic New Jersey Turnpike has certainly garnered itself a reputation over the years. From the opening sequence of the Sopranos to your favorite Bruce Springsteen song, the turnpike is as ubiquitous with the Garden State as pork roll or the Jersey Shore. Regardless of your experience with it, this roadway has had an impact on just about every citizen who’s called this place their home. If you’re interested in exploring the role this iconic road has played in our state’s history, you are invited to join the NJ State Library with author Michael Aaron Rockland, who will be discussing his book, “Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike”.
On Tuesday, June 11th, guests are welcome to participate in the New Jersey State Library’s latest virtual author talk. This event will be held on Zoom from 12pm to 1pm. Registration is free, and you can sign up to attend by filling out the link here: Registration – NJSL. Throughout the afternoon, guests will have the opportunity to hear from Rockland regarding the fascinating history of the New Jersey Turnpike, and how this roadway has had the power to bring the many corners of this state together. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about changes that have been made to the turnpike since the book’s initial publication in 1989. If you’d like to check out the book prior to the webinar, you can purchase a copy here: Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike
Michael Aaron Rockland is professor of American Studies Emeritus at Rutgers University. He began his career in the U.S. diplomatic service, during which he was a cultural attaché in both Argentina and Spain. He is the author of sixteen books, five of which have received special recognition and prizes. His first book, Sarmiento’s Travels in the United States in 1847, was chosen by The Washington Post’s Book World as one of the “Fifty Best Books of the Year.” Meanwhile, the subject of the afternoon’s conversation, Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, was chosen by the New Jersey State Library as one of the “Ten Best Books Ever Written on New Jersey or by a New Jerseyan.” Rockland has won seven major teaching and lecturing awards, including the National Teaching Award in American Studies. In total, he has lectured in some twenty-three countries around the world. A regular contributor to New Jersey Monthly magazine, he has also worked in television and film production, most notably for P.B.S.
If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating history awaiting us just up the road, you won’t want to miss the chance to be a part of this insightful conversation. If you have any questions prior to the event, please contact the New Jersey State Library at (609) 278-2640 for additional details. If you’d like to learn more about other upcoming events at the NJSL, please visit their website here: NJSL – Events. Travel down the turnpike in more ways than one this summer, be sure to register today!