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The shadowy past and present of Las Vegasand its role in the shaping of today's Americaare here revealed as never before by two of the country's leading investigative reporters. After five years of intensive research and interviewing, Sally Denton and Roger Morris make clear how and why Las Vegas became the greatest business success story of the twentieth century, and how the rest of America ensured this success by contributing capital as well as customers.
Headquarters of a trillion-dollar worldwide empire, the site of unprecedented political and economic power, Las Vegas, in the view of Denton and Morris, is by no means an aberrant sin city. They demonstrate how, on the contrary, it has grown out of, and reflects, a corruption and a worship of money that have crept into American life since Prohibition.
They trace the original funds for the founding of the Las Vegas we know today to nationwide narcotics trafficking. They show how deeply a multiethnic criminal syndicate, in part feeding off gambling profits and the skim in Las Vegas, came to influence American politics and the larger society, and how pervasively its style of business has penetrated the entire nation.
Denton and Morris detail the amazing rise and reach of Meyer Lanskythe mind that ran the city; exactly how criminals, politicians, and businessmen worked together to control Las Vegas; the curious interplay of the city with the fates of Joseph, John F., and Robert Kennedy; how Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover vastly intensified the citys corruption; how Mormon bankers and Wall Street financiers have bankrolled and profited from casinos ruled by organized crime; how a handful of dedicated journalists and law enforcement officers were destroyed before they could expose the citys secrets.
The Money and the Power is a detailed and illuminating chronicle of an extraordinary place and time
and a provocative reinterpretation of twentieth-century American history.