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Las Vegas: An Unconventional History, book cover. In conjunction with the American Experience film, Bulfinch Press is publishing Las Vegas: An Unconventional History in the Fall of 2005. The author of the book is Michelle Ferrari, with Stephen Ives -- they are also respectively screenwriter and director of the film.

Ferrari says: "The history of Las Vegas is arguably one of the most entertaining sagas I've ever had the good fortune to write about. Between the gambling and the mobsters and the A-bomb tests and the architectural wonder that is the current-day Strip, Las Vegas's history is about as unconventional as it gets.

"We wanted to create a book that reflected the character and spirit of the city," explained Ferrari, "One that was accessible and immediately digestible and, above all, entertaining -- a book that did history, in effect, the way Las Vegas does fun."

Read book excerpts that describe the intricacies of poker, the myth of the Rat Pack, the history of the slot machine and the value of water in the desert.

Poker
by James McManus

The Rat Pack
by Max Rudin

Slots
by Michelle Ferrari

Water
by Michelle Ferrari

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Las Vegas: An Unconventional History American Experience

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