"The Old West in Modern Splendor”: Frontier Folklore and the Selling of Las Vegas

Jones, Karen R. (2010) "The Old West in Modern Splendor”: Frontier Folklore and the Selling of Las Vegas. European Journal of American Culture, 29 (2). pp. 93-110. ISSN 1466-0407. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.29.2.93_1) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.29.2.93_1

Abstract

Las Vegas is customarily seen as a postmodern city of fantasy and simulation, a place where history and geography scarcely matter. In this article I argue instead that Las Vegas might be usefully described as a frontier city. When civic boosters sought to first sell their town as a tourist paradise it was the iconography of the American West that captivated public interest. In a place that invented theming, the frontier represented the original blueprint. Even when Las Vegas moved away from a western aesthetic, it continued to subscribe to a frontier mantra. Its culture of gambling resonated with ideas of individualism, risk, freedom and adventuring, while the constant reinvention of the city pointed towards a vertical frontier to match Frederick Jackson Turner's horizontal rubric.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Gambling, American West, tourism, theming, Las Vegas, frontier,
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: M.R.L. Hurst
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 09:50 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:35 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52349 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jones, Karen R.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-6830
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