New Jersey has long been the whipping boy of New York City (and maybe Philly too). Decades ago, Woody Allen movies and Saturday Night Live amplified Jersey’s inferiority complex. This phenomenon, the Jersey Joke, started to turn in the mid 70’s when Bruce Springsteen gained national fame. The Jersey Joke continued to ebb and flow (consider how the Sopranos changed how Jersey was perceived) and still does. Jersey is a state like no other, the home of high profile innovators and artists – from Edison to Sinatra – and can boast national economic and scientific impact. And let’s not forget about its glorious tollbooths.
Michael Rockland, Ph.D.
Professor & Writer
Early in his career, Michael Rockland was in diplomacy as cultural attache at several American embassies abroad. Transitioning to academia after his time with the embassies, he was a Dean at Rutgers University. He then founded the American Studies Department and went on to be awarded major prizes in teaching and lecturing. Michael is the author of fourteen books, many award-winning, and has a few more on the horizon. He’s also a regular contributor to New Jersey Monthly.