296 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. NEVADA. The meteoric rise of Las Vegas from a remote Mormon outpost to an international entertainment center was never a sure thing. In its first decades, the town languished, but when Nevada legalized casino gambling in 1931, Las Vegas met its destiny. This act&emdash; combined with the growing popularity of the automobile, cheap land and electricity, and changing national attitudes toward gambling&emdash; led to the fantastic casinos and opulent resorts that became the trademark industry of the city and created the ambiance that has made Las Vegas an icon of pleasure. This volume celebrates the city's unparalleled growth, examining both the development of its gaming industry and the creation of an urban complex that over two million people proudly call home. Here are the colorful characters who shaped the city as well as the political, business, and civic decisions that influenced its growth. The story extends chronologically from the first Paiute people to the construction of the latest megaresorts, and geographically far beyond the original township to include the several municipalities that make up today's vast metropolitan Las Vegas area. Eugene P. Moehring, a native of Brooklyn, is professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of Resort City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegas, 1930-2000 and Urbanism and Empire in the Far West, 1840-1890 and coauthor of Las Vegas: A Centennial History, among other works. Michael S. Green is an associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, specializing in nineteenth-century politics and the American West. He is the author of several books on these subjects, including Las Vegas: A Centennial History. From Las Vegas: A Centennial History: "Las Vegas is many things to many people. During the past half century, Las Vegas has become an icon of gambling and leisure. It attracts more than 35 million visitors annually, more than Orlando, more even than Mecca in Saudi Arabia. To most of these visitors, it is 'Sin City, ' the 'City Without Clocks' where 'What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. ' "But to the people who live here, the better word to describe Las Vegas is 'home. ' To these people&emdash; over 1.7 million of them according to the 2000 census, and more arriving every day&emdash; the metropolitan Las Vegas area is where they work, raise families, go to school, play ball or go jogging, and dream the same dreams and live the same lives as their fellow Americans all over the country. That the city's major industry involves a sometimes forbidden activity (gambling), and an attitude unappreciated by puritans of all stripes&emdash; the pursuit of pleasure in all forms&emdash; does not contradict the fact that the majority of Las Vegans earn their living in ordinary workplaces like offices, shops, and construction sites, and in the same vast range of occupations and professions that other Americans pursue." (Key Words: Eugene P. Moehring, Michael S. Green, Las Vegas, Paiute People, Casino Gambling, Sin City, City Without Clocks, Gaming Industry ).
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