The Making of Modern Nevada

Front Cover
University of Nevada Press, 2010 - 176 pages
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Making a Territory and a State
The Comstock and the Railroads
1900 to 1929
Hoover Dam and the Rise of Federal Power
The Mob Comes to Nevada
The Corporate Era
The Mirage Phase and the New Nevada

Common terms and phrases

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.

Bibliographic information