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A Guide To Its Present And Past
Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey
American Guide Series

Originally published in 1939
Some of this information may no longer be current and in that case is presented for historical interest only.

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2002

Sponsors' Forewords

This story of New Jersey is cause for pride to those who love the State, but must also give pause to those who can be critical at the same time. Its beauty and romance, its ugliness and the commonplace have been preserved in an unusual balance by the collaborators in the evaluation of the State.

The Editors are to be heartily congratulated upon an achievement of note, as this Guide is a distinct contribution to a knowledge of the history of New Jersey.

Newark Public Library
June 1939

The New Jersey Guild Associates is glad to present a reprint of the New Jersey Guide. The 5,000 copies printed in 1939 have been sold -- a solid testimonial to the work of the WPA writers, research workers, and editors who wrote the book. Hastings House, the new publisher, plans to maintain a permanent staff for the later revision of this and other state guides.

We regret that some facts in New Jersey labor history, which were stricken from the original manuscript in 1938 at the instigation of the Dies Committee Investigating Un-American Activities, have not been restored in this reprint. The deleted references concerned the use of teargas in a strike of agricultural workers at Seabrook Farms in 1934; the activities of 300 guards which Radio Corporation of America Manufacturing Company hired through a detective agency during a strike at its Camden plant in 1936, and the use of detective agencies by corporations such as Campbell Soup Company, Phelps-Dodge Copper Products Corporation, Congoleum-Nairn Inc., and New York Ship Building Corporation. The details are part of the printed record of the La Follette Committee's investigation. Since they were published by the daily newspapers and other periodicals, there seems to be no good reason to fear that publication in the Guide would result in libel suits.

Despite these omissions, the book as a whole gives an honest portrait of the State -- a portrait that is unusual because the writers detoured from the main roads to explore lonely spots that few tourists would ever find.


Original Publishers' Note
The Publishers regret the difference that has arisen between them and the New Jersey Guild Associates, sponsor of the New Jersey State Guide, as to inclusion in the present edition of certain material concerning the history of labor in New Jersey, omitted from the first edition of the Guide. The Publishers are reliably informed that the material referred to in the Associates' statement printed herewith, was not originally omitted because of political pressure, but for the same reason that it is omitted now. The Publishers' agreement with the Associates provides that new material to be offered by the Associates would be included in the new edition, provided it was not libelous. Such material was received in due course by the Publishers and submitted by the Publishers to competent counsel, who advised that it might be held libelous if untrue and accordingly might well expose the Publishers to claims for damages by the parties alleging that they had been libelled. Hastings House, therefore, availed itself of its right under the terms of the agreement with the Associates, to reject the new material. This new edition of the admirable New Jersey State Guide, written by the Federal Writers Project of New Jersey, is reprinted without any change of text whatever.

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New Jersey: The American Guide Series
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