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Suburban Xanadu
The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond

What is Suburban Xanadu?

Suburban Xanadu is a new look at the rise of the casino industry, one of the most remarkable developments in late 20th century America. Within a generation, casinos went from near-outlaw businesses to thriving, state-sanctioned ones. Suburban Xanadu clearly and emphatically tells the story of how this happened, doing, in the words of casino mogul Steve Wynn, a "great job" of explaining casinos' popularity.

This isn't the casino history you've seen on TV. For too long, academic historians have shied away from seriously investigating the social, cultural, and political forces that created today's casino industry. Finally, someone has crafted an artful, accessible historical analysis of the rise and popularity of legal casino gaming in the United States.

Crime, corruption, exoticism, escapism, family entertainment, and egalitarianism-all under one roof. The lures and promises of the casino have evolved dramatically over the course of the past century, and the suburban oasis of today's casino resort is hardly the den of iniquity castigated by anti-gambling critics or romanticized by casino operators. Today, we live in a veritable "casino archipelago" in which most Americans live within a four-hour drive of one of the all-inclusive hotel/restaurant/and entertainment complexes. So what are the forces behind this phenomenon?

Tracing the evolution of the casino resort from its roots in the post-World War II domestic urban exodus, Suburban Xanadu argues that the self-contained casino resort arose at precisely the right historical moment. Having shuttled and shuttered gambling and its social problems away from cities and into the more sanitized cultural and physical landscape of middle America, the casino resort evolved into a quintessential American institution. Remarkably detailed and entertaining, Suburban Xanadu tells us a great deal about popular leisure in America and why the suburban ideal has become so dominant in our social life.

Read more about Suburban Xanadu here, including info on where to order it.

Suburban Xanadu

Suburban Xanadu
The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond

A book by David G. Schwartz
New York: Routledge, 2003


 


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Last modified Wednesday, 06-May-2009 16:25:44 PDT