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Son of a Gambling Man: My Journey from a Casino Family to the Governor's Mansion Hardcover – March 12, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A refreshingly unpretentious statement of personal history and political accomplishment that avoids the pitfall of excessive self-congratulation.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Miller, Nevada’s longest-serving governor (1989 to 1999), opens this book by saying that it is not a typical autobiography. After a capable foreword by former President Bill Clinton, Miller writes lovingly, and without apology, about his father, a Chicago bookmaker, whose word was his bond. He counted mobsters as associates, leading to business opportunities in the pre-glitter Las Vegas era. The fledgling gambling mecca, Las Vegas, plays an important character here, as Miller’s father becomes deeply involved in the casino life, yet shields his son from it, instead urging him to take part in the American Dream. After a stint in the service and law school, Miller rises quickly from assistant district attorney to judge, entering public office and eventually becoming governor, where he boldly takes on the gaming industry and corrupt lawmakers. In addition to providing the basis for a revealing family memoir and a triumphant political document, Miller’s unique life is a testament to persistence, ambition, and respect for blood ties, including ties to his proud casino father.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Fascinating, larger-than-life story populated with eye-opening, colorful characters. This is an inspiring story as well from a first-rate family man and statesman. A unique and memorable memoir.”
—Steve Forbes

“A fresh and candid appraisal of an intriguing life.”
—Richard O. Davies, distinguished professor of History, University of Nevada

“Bob’s story is the perfect example of the “American Dream” and how much one can accomplish by putting their mind and heart into it.  I know a side of Bob Miller that many do not;  the outspoken District Attorney - fighting for victim’s, children’s and women’s rights, the popular and longest serving Nevada Governor – who changed multiple laws to make Nevada safer for all citizens and the outstanding husband and father.  This memorable story is a source of inspiration for all who aspire to great.”
—John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted

“Governor Miller has unique insight into the forces that have contributed to the growth and vitality of Las Vegas over the last half century. After reading “Son of a Gambling Man,” it’s obvious why and how he became such a dedicated and efficient public servant.”
—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Son of a Gambling Man is an incredible read and says what so many have been unable to say…those men and women who helped create one of the greatest cities in the world were at some point in time considered ‘outlaws’ and then later ‘heroes.’ Thank you Bob for this insight only you could offer. You are truly a man of your word and one of the bets Governor’s our state has ever had. I am proud to have been able to call you a friend for most of my life.”
—Wayne Newton

“I want you to know this is not, I repeat not, a quintessential American story –it is a quintessential Nevada story. This entertaining, honest, and provocative book could have only taken place in Nevada.”
—James Carville

About the Author

BOB MILLER is Nevada’s longest serving governor, holding office from 1989 to 1999. His son, Ross, who is named after his grandfather, is presently in his second term as Nevada’s secretary of state.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312591810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312591816
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bob Miller is in the middle of a distinguished and honorable career - one that has demonstrated inspired service to the people of Las Vegas, Clark County, the state of Nevada, two United States presidents, several prestigious national professional associations and boards of directors as well as providing tourism and gaming consultation to political and business leaders in foreign lands.

From police officer to the immensely popular and longest serving governor in the history of the state of Nevada; from notable statesman to champion of economic development through environmentally mindful tourism; from advocating responsible gaming regulation to significantly elevating the rights of those people victimized by crime and protecting our children from exploitation, Mr. Miller has a diverse and lauded professional career and an equally spirited sense of community.

Customer Reviews

I ordered the book on a whim and read it from cover to cover in one day.
Linda J. Mcdonell
Part biography, part history, and an amazing life story is all wrapped up in Governor Miller's Son of A Gambling Man.
Kelly Moss
Well written in an easy, informal voice, this is a very readable non-fiction book.
TopCat19

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By best expressed on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Buy a copy of this book for your next trip to Las Vegas. And if you're not planning a trip to Las Vegas any time soon, you will after you read this terrific book. Son of a Gambling Man is a behind the policy and politics look at how things actually got done and how Bob Miller led America's most progressive state as Governor, not by trying to reinvent the wheel based upon ideology or personal vision, but rather by taking the reins of a state with a rich history of progress through boom or bust, feast or famine, bull market or bear market. It is also about a city that is not only the gaming nexus and entertainment capital of the world, but also the crown jewel of this country when it comes to being clearly the leader in a level playing field for all. No city in America cares less about your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or what state or country you are from, or if you're in a wheel chair or can run a four minute mile than Las Vegas. The doors are open for everyone and everyone is welcome in Las Vegas. That was accomplished not by people with chips on their shoulder, but rather by mavericks with chips in front of them and true leaders in government like Governor Miller who set the tone at the top. Accordingly, Bob Miller doesn't try and sweep his past under the carpet, awkwardly twisting reality to create some image that can be summed up on a plaque. Quite the contrary, Miller proudly lays all his cards, family history and career in government right out on the table for everyone to see, read and enjoy in Son of a Gambling Man.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Son of a Gambling Man: My Journey from a Casino Family to the Governor's Mansion by Governor Bob Miller is a real life American Dream story. Governor Miller's father, Ross Miller, was partial owner of the Rivera, and one of the early investors in Circus Circus. He also had lunch with Jimmy Hoffa.

When Ross Miller moved his family out from Chicago in the 1950s, Las Vegas didn't even have air conditioning. Scorpions were a common household pest, and segregation was the norm. Through incredible hard work and dedication, Ross Miller moved his family up in the world, but it meant rubbing elbows with Las Vegas elite, aka mobsters.

But Bob Miller's path was very different. This "son of a gambling man" went on to become a District Attorney, a Justice of the Peace, and the longest serving governor of Nevada. He campaigned passionately for victim's rights and stood up to the casinos in the middle of the Tailhook Scandal. He also did a lot to heal relations with the African American community in Westside.

An interesting aspect about this book is the inside look it gives into the 1995 movie Casino. Son of a Gambling Man doesn't have Sharon Stone, but it does have solid facts.

My favorite part of this memoir was the "unknowableness" of Ross Miller. (Yes, I realize that's not a word!) But I think lots of adult children can relate to knowing their parents, but not really knowing them. That situation can be universal.
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Format: Hardcover
Not quite knowing Bob Miller's story, I was enthralled with his book. Somewhat afraid that it would be mostly political in nature, I was pleasantly surprised at how diverse the book really is. Part biography, part history, and an amazing life story is all wrapped up in Governor Miller's Son of A Gambling Man. I picked it up to read after having met Governor Miller and am glad I did. To think that Las Vegas has changed so much in his lifetime and he was front row and center to all of the changes even though he had direct ties to the past. From the poignant stories of how his parents affected his life to the brash toughness of dealing in politics, Governor Miller packs an amazing life in one book that has so many stories. It keeps you riveted on how this man, who's dad had a somewhat old vegas reputation, became the longest serving Governor of Nevada and is loved by both Republican's and Democrats. Not only about his life, he also touches on the history of Las Vegas and the mob ties in it's early heydays. I found myself going to the internet to look for more information on the people he talks about. When that happens you know that the book is good.
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Format: Hardcover
I read widely, but to be honest, politics and political figures generally don't hold much interest for me. However, I was intrigued by the title, so I decided to give this book a try. Glad I did, it proved to be both an entertaining and informative read. The title gives you the gist of the book. Well written in an easy, informal voice, this is a very readable non-fiction book. You get a look at Las Vegas from an insider, and just in the context of following the life of Bob Miller you get a lot of very interesting history about this unique place. And the life of Bob Miller is actually interesting, it was kind of neat to follow him from his childhood to present day. If you are intrigued at all by this book, give it a try. I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a great story of a great man who lived great life and served great people form a great state... Warm recommendation from my side to read this book and to learn all lessons form Governor Bob Miller. It is worth and highly useful for youngsters and adults, for leftists or rightist, males and females, Easterns and Westerns, lovers or haters, lazy and hardworking... Lessons for all, nice reading for the one who can read and who can find the nice things in each sentence.
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