The Real Las Vegas: Life Beyond the Strip

Front Cover
David Littlejohn
Oxford University Press, Oct 28, 1999 - Political Science - 352 pages
1 Review
What images come to mind when you think of Las Vegas? Mobsters and showgirls, magicians and tigers, multimillion-dollar poker games and prizefights; towering signboards that light up the night in front of ever more spectacular casino hotels. But real people live here, too--over a million today, two million tomorrow. Greater Las Vegas has long been the fastest growing metropolitan area in America. And almost every aspect of its citizens' lives is influenced by the almighty power of the gambling industry. A team of fifteen reporters led by David Littlejohn, together with prize winning photo-journalist Eric Gran, studied the "real" Las Vegas--the city beyond the Strip and Downtown--for the better part of a year. They talked to teenagers (whose suicide and dropout rates frighten parents), senior citizens (many of whom spend their days playing bingo and the slots), Mexican immigrants (who build the new houses and clean the hotels), homeless people and angry blacks, as well as local police, active Christians, city officials, and prostitutes. They looked into the local churches, the powerful labor unions, pawn shops, the real estate boom, defiant ranchers to the north, and dire predictions that the city is about to run out of water. Proud Las Vegans claim that theirs is just a friendly southwestern boomtown--"the finest community I have ever lived in," says Bishop Daniel Walsh, who comes from San Francisco. But their picture of Las Vegas as a vibrant, civic-minded metropolis conflicts with evidence of transiency, rootlessness, political impotence, and social dysfunction. In this close-up investigation of the real lives being led in America's most tourist-jammed, gambling-driven city, readers will discover a Las Vegas very different from the one they may have seen or imagined.

What people are saying - Write a review

THE REAL LAS VEGAS: Life Beyond the Strip

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A mixed bag of essays, mostly good, on America's strangest city. Las Vegas, writes Wall Street Journal correspondent Littlejohn (Architect: The Life and Work of Charles W. Moore, 1984, etc.), is the ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

There's definitely "Life Beyond the Strip"
In the meanwhile and according to VegasSTRIPSHOP....
1. Thou shall take heed and follow credible and trusted sources.
2. Thou shall not get caught up in Vegas and alienate common sense.
3. Thou shall not be of the uninformed masses standing in long club lines and run the risk of still not being able to get in.
4. Thou shall tip the recommended host. It leads to the opening of all doors, pretty much almost every door you can think of from A to Z.
5. Thou shall not be gamed by the gamers.
6. Thou shall tour the casinos and enjoy the many offered venues.
7. Thou gambles, then thou must know when its time to cash out of that slot machine or walk away from that table. Bet responsible.
8. Thou shall not drink and drive any motor vehicle of any kind. Seriously and Literally.
9. Thou shall not be in Vegas and not fully get the best of Vegas or even feel the slightest sense of boredom in any form or fashion, as that violates every single one of the commandments and you should be condemn to the fullest extent. Do not indulge in any boredom or half stepping whatsoever, don't do it, definitely not in Vegas.
10. Thou shall report and stay tuned to Vegas Strip Shop for insightful advises, tours, entertainment and all things Sin City.


The Ultimate Company Town
Down and Out in Vegas
Growing Up in Las Vegas
El Pueblo de Las Vegas
A View from West Las Vegas
Water for the Desert Miracle
Thirty Thousand Homes a Year
Lenders of Last Resort
Skin City
Law and Disorder
Southern Nevada versus the United States
Learning More from Las Vegas
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Houses of the Holy
Organizing Las Vegas

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

David Littlejohn is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written or edited eleven previous books, and is the West Coast arts correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Kensington, California.

Bibliographic information