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Most writing about Las Vegas focuses on the spectacular story of casino gambling and tourism. This book is different. It recognizes that in addition to being the capital of glitz, Las Vegas is home to over one million permanent residents and is the fastest growing metropolitan region in the US - expecting to double in population over the next decade.Using the perspective of the new urban sociology, this book is an historical account of how Las Vegas became a metropolitan area. Attention is paid to the role of the federal government in subsidizing growth, as it has done for the entire sunbelt, at the expense of the rest of the country: to the key actions of a select group of real estate developers who brought mass suburban housing to the desert: and to local public officials - some of whom worked to improve the region, and others who betrayed the people's trust for personal gain.Las Vegas: The Social Production of an All-American City also addresses growing problems in the area, including an environmental crisis, increasing public debt, overcrowding of schools, gridlock traffic, the proliferation of special interests, and the poor performance of weak government.
Mark Gottdiener is Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at State University of New York at Buffalo. An internationally regarded scholar, he writes on social theory, political economy, cultural studies, and semiotics. Among his best-known books are The Theming of America (1997), Postmodern Semiotics (Blackwell, 1994), The New Urban Sociology (1994), and The Social Production of Urban Space (second edition, 1994). Claudia C. Collins is an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She worked as an award-winning television journalist in New York and Las Vegas and is presently doing research in the area of health and aging, and population studies. David R. Dickens in Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His primary areas of interest are continental social theory and contemporary mass culture.