Our good friend Greg Neimann has written a terrific book on Las Vegas and we asked him to tell us about it:
“Yes, Las Vegas,” my publisher said. “We’ve had people asking us to do a book, and you can do it – just like you did with Baja Legends and Palm Springs Legends, which by the way are two of our most popular books.”
I looked at Diana Lindsay, the owner of Sunbelt Publications and told her I’d think about it.
Later I thought, “Wow, a publisher is asking me to write a book for them. I’m honored, but what do I know about Las Vegas.” I didn’t think I could, or should, write a book about an unfamiliar place, but Las Vegas – well maybe.
As a life-long southern Californian I’d been going to Las Vegas since the 1940s, so I was quite familiar with the city. I had driven up enough times I knew the route intimately. I’d flown up on casino junkets, and had attended casino openings only to see the same ones imploded years later.
My sister lived in Eldorado Canyon for 20 years, part of that time as curator of the Techatticup Mine. I romped all over that area, and when we went to town, it meant driving straight down Boulder Highway until it became Fremont Street and downtown. I also spent time with friends and other former family members who lived in Las Vegas.
Not a resident, I still had a second row seat to observe the meteoric rise of Las Vegas as it morphed into the largest U. S. city spawned in the 20th century.
Before I told Sunbelt that I would do it, I did a lot of background research. The more I got into the city’s history, the more I was intrigued. The early days of the Mormons, the feuding first ranchers, and the drama of the competing railroads were the beginnings of a fascinating story to be told.
I agreed to write the book and my subsequent trips to Vegas became so much more enriching. The blackjack tables took a back seat to sources of information and the people who were willing to talk to me. The captivating story of Las Vegas was continuing to evolve and enthrall, and still is.
As Dr. Eugene Moering of UNLV, who was kind enough to proof the book, wrote, “Las Vegas Legends is more than a book about legends. It is a highly informative history that sweeps across Las Vegas’ past from earliest times to the present. General readers will enjoy this engaging saga of America’s gaming capital.”
I am happy with the result, and I hope you will be too.
You can order a copy by going directly to his website: www.gregniemann.com