Literature

Different times

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At a time like this, when the bubble has burst on Las Vegas’ collective psyche, it’s nice to recall the good old days of sun and fun and money, when a writer could say of the city, without irony, “It is the most incredible oasis the world has ever known” and that it “shimmers like a dream in the middle of the Mojave Desert.”

The Details

Mid-Century Vegas: 1930s to 1960s
Donald D. Spencer
Schiffer, $40.

That writer is Donald D. Spencer, and his new book, Mid-Century Vegas: 1930s to 1960s, showcases a collection of colorful postcards of old casinos, gorgeous neon signs and bikini-clad sun worshippers. Spencer writes a straightforward history of golden-age Vegas, but it’s the postcards that bring home both the incredible changes that have taken place here and the underlying coherence of a town forever built on fantasy.

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