edited by Hal K. Rothman and Mike Davis
The Grit Beneath the Glitter is the first real look at the new Las Vegas from the inside. In it, long-time residents as well as professionals reflect on the transformation of one of the fastest-growing and most famous cities on earth, yet one about which relatively little is known. They offer a lively and compelling portrait of the other side of Las Vegas: the people and institutions that support the glitter of the gaming and entertainment industry. Examining a range of topics - from the city's commercial history, labor conditions, and environmental problems to an analysis of the famous lights of the Strip - the contributors uncover the contradictions between the illusion and the reality of the city, the seam between fantasy and the life it masks. The essays in this collection explore the world that employees experience when they enter gaming palaces from an employee entrance in a back parking lot rather than through the scripted doors of casino/hotel palaces. They take readers into the neighborhoods where 1.4 million Americans now live, attend school, eat dinner, and go to work.