The Last Honest Place in America

The Last Honest Place in America

Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas

Book - 2004
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Las Vegas America begins with the dynamiting of the Desert Inn in October 2001, the moment when old Vegas "cool" died and the new corporate model claimed definitive victory. From this moment, Cooper takes us on a journey from the top of the Luxor Hotel's glass pyramid, down "the Strip," past the golden glow of the Mirage into the town's black ghetto. Along the way, the best-selling author introduces us to a cast of characters including casino king Steve Wynn and Tim Thuller, leader of the Vagabound Motorcycle Club. He explores life among Vegas's 75,000 union families and considers how outlaws and iconoclasts are adapting to life in the new corporate city. Finally Cooper strays beyond the Strip into a desolate landscape characterized by pawnshops, destitution, crime, and impending environmental crisis. "For me," writes Cooper, "Las Vegas is the last, most honest place in America. Vegas is often described as a city of dreams and fantasy, of tinselish make-believe. But this is getting backwards. Vegas is the American market ethic stripped completely bare, a mini-world totally free of the pretenses and protocols of modern consumer capitalism. Watching it operate with barely any mediation generates nothing short of an intellectual frisson."
Publisher: New York : Nation Books, c2004.
ISBN: 9781560254904
Characteristics: 248 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Oct 23, 2016

I stumbled onto this book while prepping for my 1st ever visit to Vegas. What we have here is an outstanding piece of 1st person journalism, story telling and ground level interviews with long time "core" Vegas denizens from a long time Vegas expert. The narrative is colorful, imaginative and thought provoking. I cannot over state how much I enjoyed this sage piece of story telling and biting social commentary about Vegas and indeed our nation as a whole.

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