LEARNING MORE FROM LAS VEGAS
This is obviously not the last word on Las Vegas. It is not even the last word on Las Vegas today--which, for this team of reporters, means Las Vegas as we found it between fall 1996 and fall 1998--let alone Las Vegas yesterday or Las Vegas tomorrow. Those interested in the history of this city should read Eugene Moehring Resort City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegas 1930-1970 (as updated in 1995), and the Las Vegas chapters of John M. Findlay's People of Chance: Gambling in American Society from Colonial Times to Las Vegas ( 1986). In addition to the millions of words that have been written about the casino-hotels of the Strip and Downtown, as well as the entrepreneurs, entertainers, gamblers, tourists, athletes, and criminals identified with them, popular articles and academic studies have addressed the city's water shortage, environmental problems, racial minorities, labor relations, new housing developments, and feeble efforts at planning.
This collection is not even as complete as we would have liked to make it. The realities of book publication obliged us to omit Becky Quinlan's chapter on the beleaguered Clark County School District--now the nation's ninth- or tenth-largest, growing by twelve thousand students a year, the equivalent of one new elementary school every month. In order to reduce a swollen introduction, I cut out segments dealing with professional and amateur sports, the local cultural scene, and Clark County's efforts to expand its economic base. After many months of work, Michael Stroh felt