The Making of Modern Nevada

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University of Nevada Press, 2010 - 176 pages
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Nevada has always been different from other states. Almost from its beginning, Nevada sanctioned behaviors considered immoral elsewhere--gambling, prize-fighting, brothels, easy divorce--and embraced a culture of individualism and disdain for the constraints of more conventional society. In The Making of Modern Nevada, author Hal Rothman focuses on the factors that shaped the state's original maverick, colonial status and those that later allowed it to emerge as the new standard of American consumer- ism and postmodern liberalism. Rothman introduces the masters who sought to own Nevada, from bonanza kings to Mafia mobsters, as well as the politicians, miners, gamblers, civic and civil-rights leaders, union organ- izers, and casino corporate moguls who guided the state into prosperity and national importance. He also analyzes the role of mob and labor union money in the development of Las Vegas; the Sagebrush Rebellion; the rise of megaresorts and of Las Vegas as a world icon of leisure and pleasure; and the political and social impact of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The Making of Modern Nevada is essential reading for anyone who wonders how the Silver State got this way, and where it may be going in the twenty-first century.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Making a Territory and a State
18
The Comstock and the Railroads
43
1900 to 1929
63
Hoover Dam and the Rise of Federal Power
82
The Mob Comes to Nevada
101
The Corporate Era
125
The Mirage Phase and the New Nevada
147
Index
165
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

He is a leading historian of the American West, especially of the environment in the West. Holding a Ph. D. in American studies from the University of Texas, he teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His book Devil's Bargains: Tourism in the Twentieth Century American West received the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Contemporary Non-Fiction in 1999.

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