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The Peoples Of Las Vegas: One City, Many Faces (Shepperson Series in Nevada History) Hardcover – March 7, 2005

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About the Author

Jerry L. Simich is associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Thomas C. Wright is professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Product Details

  • Series: Shepperson Series in Nevada History
  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nevada Press (March 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087417614X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874176148
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,835,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed learning about immigrants when I was in school. The immigrants we learned about were from Europe and most of them settled on the East Coast. I was fascinated by these people who were so brave or desperate (or both) that they would abandon their homes, most likely forever, and start all over again in a new country where many of them didn't know anyone, or know how they'd support themselves. It was a terrific gamble but they came in droves. They still do.

While Las Vegas isn't known as a destination for immigrants, it has a population as diverse as Los Angeles or New York. How did this happen? The Peoples of Las Vegas, an anthology about some of the groups that populate Las Vegas, takes on this question. Essay by essay, it becomes clear.

We start by learning about the Southern Paiutes, the tribe that lived in Las Vegas before it was Las Vegas. Although the lessons in school about the Native Americans didn't hold my interest like the stories about the immigrants did, I found it eye-opening to read about how the Paiutes were captured and sold as slaves to the first European settlers by the Utes, who also lived in the Southwest. Like so many other Native Americans, they ended up on reservations in undesirable conditions, and in recent years have found some success by building and running a casino on their land. It's easy to see how Indian casinos in states without legal gambling are be a goldmine, but I was surprised to discover that the Paiutes' casino was also quite profitable, even so near Las Vegas.

Chapters on the Mexicans and the Chinese tell stories of hard work and assimilation. African Americans had to deal with segregation until 1960. We Westerners are often surprised to learn that there was segregation here as well, not just in the South.
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