First published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Hal Rothman is a professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the editor of the journal Environmental History. The author of Devil's Bargains: Tourism in the Twentieth Century American West, Rothman is a frequent commentator on Las Vegas. He has been featured on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and in the four-hour A&E Television Network documentary, Las Vegas.
"[Rothman] treasures the moment when Jerry Tarkanian (a towel-chewing stoic) took his Runnin' Rebels to the N.C.A.A. basketball finals, and defeated Duke, despite the 'snotty' sign borne by some Duke supporters: 'Welcome, fellow student-athletes.' This informative and useful book comes loaded...there is a wealth of practical detail...This book will teach you something startling on nearly every page." -- New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant interpretation of the supernova of American Cities." -- Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz
"In this thoughtful study, Rothman provides a detailed history of a uniquely American city. The subject of urban planning and design is enriched by Rothman's focus on the social history of the city, including its architecture, economics, government, labor issues, transportation, environmental policy, and immigration situation...His empathetic exploration of working class Latino lives is especially rewarding." -- Library Journal
"Rothman masterfully melds painstaking research, relevant anecdotes and well-chosen interviews to illuminate large social, economic and cultural themes and show where they fit into Las Vegas. Unlike others who have tried to capture the city, Rothman doesn't traffic in conspiracy theories or florid prose to make Las Vegas seem larger or darker than life. Instead, he has produced a sprightly written book that took him out of the ivory tower and onto the streets to produce a compelling and accurate picture of the neon metropolis." -- Jon Ralston
"Most of the information we receive about modern places is as ignorant as it is superficial, and yet from the very capital of superficiality and glitz, Las Vegas, Hal Rothman has paradoxically delivered a book that is engaged, funny, smart and historically informed. Las Vegas, Rothman tells us, represents socially sanctioned deviance. The deviance in Neon Metropolis we expect to find, but Rothman delivers much more. This is a book about changing American culture and the surprising ways that Las Vegas, which is different from the rest of America, reveals so much about the United States in a new century." -- Richard White, Stanford University
"Neon Metropolis is Hal Rothman's intellectual valentine to the city he loves. A stunning contribution to labor studies and western history, this book provides a bold and compelling portrait of America's City of Lights, a place where dreams are made and dreams are shattered all under a corporate sky. For anyone who wants to get beneath the glitz of Las Vegas, Neon Metropolis is a must read." -- Vicki Ruiz
"Hal Rothman, who has brilliantly and prolifically parsed so much of the American West past and present, has done it again with our most remarkable city. His deft, ever insightful portrait of Las Vegas and its tumultuous and bizarre rise is a marriage of scholarship and journalism made not in some Strip wedding chapel but in the solid tradition of urban history." -- Sally Denton, author of The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America 1947-2000
"Hal Rothman's wonderful book forcefully revises virtually every standard-issue urbanist cliche about Vegas. Within the city of sin and simulation, he finds one of striving, decency, and possibility, a post-millennial American dream." -- Michael Sorkin