By Eugene P. Moehring and Michael S. Green
Las Vegas: A Centennial History celebrates the city's unparalleled growth in the brief century of its existence, examining both the development of its gaming industry and the creation of an urban complex that over a million people proudly call home. Here are the colorful characters who shaped the city, as well as the political, business, and civic decisions that influenced its growth. The story extends chronologically from the first Paiute people who settled around the artesian springs that gave the city its name right up to the construction of the latest megaresort, and geographically far beyond the original township to include the several municipalities that make up today's vast metropolitian Las Vegas area. It also offers fresh insight into the process of city building in the American West, where urban needs and aspirations must contend with water scarcity, isolation, erratic economies, highly diverse populations, and the rocky relationship between the need for civic order and the Western spirit of independence.