We’re are excited to introduce to you all Dr. Larry Gragg, one of our panelists for our first topic this season, Betting On Hedonism: Las Vegas Strip is Born! Larry is a professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he teaches the History of Las Vegas and American Civilization courses. He has also been a department chair since 2003 and an active, award-winning writer and scholar.
Larry is the author of “Bright Light Big City: Las Vegas in Popular Culture” which discusses the history of Vegas and how that history has been constructed and imagined through the concerted efforts of shrewd PR people. During the panel on October 3rd, Action Speaks will be exploring how Las Vegas came to be a desert ‘utopia’ for millions of visitors still drawn daily to the ‘allure of the forbidden’ and how creating a utopia based on hedonism has often produced dystopia of thwarted dreams and unintended consequences.
For more of Larry Gragg’s work on Las Vegas, check out these articles: “Protecting a City’s Image: The Death of Las Vegas Beat, 1961″ Studies in Popular Culture, 2011; “The Powerful Mythology Surrounding Bugsy Siegel” The UNLV Center for Gaming Research Occasional Paper Series, 2010 and “Las Vegas: Who Built America’s Playground?” History Today, 2007.