Before The Future Found Us
By Joan Burkhart Whitely
History books tend to dwell on the lives of giants -- big-idea men who built railroads and towers and sent others slogging through hell to make the world safe.
Not so many tell of people who laid track and brick and did the slogging. Young Las Vegas tells the story of the men, women and children who built Las Vegas on the raw desert, choked down the dust and the monotonous canned food, and sweated out the brutal summers to pursue their personal dreams.
To commemorate the city's 100th year of existence, Review-Journal publisher Sherman Frederick asked his staff to produce a book about everyday life in a city that was not yet famous -- before 1931, when the legalization of gambling and the construction of Hoover Dam started Las Vegas down a path that would make it unique. Because it would be a labor-intensive project to recreate a world more than 70 years old, he wanted the product of that effort to survive longer than newspaper writing normally does, in a book available for many years to come. Young Las Vegas, 1905-1931: Before the Future Found Us will be published by a sister company of the Review-Journal, Stephens Press, which specializes in books about the Southwest and Southern California.