Book Review: The Big Burn

Timothy Egan. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. 352 pages. Forest fires are a perennial concern, particularly in the American West, as is government stewardship of public lands. This was no less true in 1910, when the Forest Service was young and the worst fire … Read more

Column in LV Weekly

I’ve got a new column out today in the Las Vegas Weekly. It’s an essay about why there’s such a stigma against Las Vegas visitors: Three outside opinions, one conclusion: Las Vegas is the shallow end of America’s gene pool. Could they have a point? After all, casinos offer negative-expectation games. Mathematically, it’s a certainty … Read more

Book Review: Dreaming in Hindi

Katherine Russell Rich. Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. 384 pages. In 2001, editor and author Katherine Russell Rich decided to spend a year in India learning Hindi as a way of better understanding both India and herself. The literary result is Dreaming in Hindi, a memoir of … Read more

Book Review: Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid

Howard J. Morris and Jenny Lee. Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship. New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2009. 240 pages. Relationship books are always popular, and since a flood of books by purported experts hasn’t stopped couples from breaking up, why not a book by a boyfriend/girlfriend pair … Read more

Book Review: The Last Trials of Clarence Darrow

Donald McRae. The Last Trials of Clarence Darrow. New York: William Morrow, 2009. 422 pages. Clarence Darrow was one of the most polarizing figures of the early 20th century. He was at the forefront of several of the era’s most widely publicized trials, including the McNamara brothers’ 1912 trial for allegedly bombing the LA Times … Read more

Book Review: Quiet Kingmaker of Las Vegas

Jack Sheehan. Quiet Kingmaker of Las Vegas: E. Parry Thomas. Las Vegas: Stephens Press, 2009. 346 pages. Wow. That was my reaction to finding out that a biography of Parry Thomas was coming out. Thomas, the man who it said said “flipped the switch that turned on the lights in Las Vegas,” is easily one … Read more