A composite, contemporary view of the "real" Las Vegas--a boomtown of almost two million people whose lives are fundamentally shaped by the city's dominating industry, casino gambling. Individual journalists, under the direction of editor David Littlejohn, examine such aspects of life in Las Vegas today as megachurches, teenagers, black and Hispanic populations, pawn shops, the real estate business, the sex industry, senior citizens, the homeless, and the water problem, primarily by means of interviews with local authorities and hundreds of ordinary citizens.
David gives an overview of the book:
This was the product of my last graduate seminar at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, before I retired from teaching in 1998. The 13 students--all of whom had already put in serious time as working journalists--spent a semester studying the city from afar by means of movies, daily newspapers and television news transcripts, books, previously published articles, and correspondence with local authorities. Thus prepared, we made two (in some cases, three or four) extended trips to the city in 1997-8 to learn more about our selected topics. The results of this research and writing were so remarkably good (and so unlike anything on the city published before) that I proposed them as a book to my editor at Oxford University Press (NY), who asked me to write an introduction and afterword, and published the book--with the stunning photographs of Eric Gran (a former Berkeley graduate student in journalism)--in 1999.
The book upset a few people in Las Vegas.
David Littlejohn: Biographical sketch
I was born in San Francisco, as were my parents and grandparents. My grandfather’s grandfather came to California in 1850, along with a lot of other people. I’ve come to regard this state as a unique...