This book explores the rise and increased acceptance of gambling in America, particularly the growth of the game of poker, as a means for examining changes to the American Dream and the risk society. Poker both critiques and reinterprets the myth of the American Dream, putting greater emphasis on the importance of luck and risk management while deemphasizing the importance of honesty and hard work. Duncan discusses the history of gambling in America, changes to the rhetoric surrounding gambling, the depiction of poker in the Wild West as portrayed in film, its recent rise in popularity on television, its current place in post-modern America on the internet, and future implications.
1. Introduction to Gambling America 2. Rhetorical Markers in Gambling Scholarship 3. Myth, Narrative, and Ideology 4. Chapter Four: Saloons, Six-Shooters, and Mythos of the Old West: Gambling and Poker in John Ford’s My Darling Clementine 5. A Hard Way to Make an Easy Living: The World Series of Poker and the Self-Made Man 6. Shifting the Scene: Internet Poker and the Rise of Tom Dwan 7. Conclusions and the Future of Gambling