Book Review - ‘Learning Las Vegas’ is worth your time

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By Eric Martin

Las Vegas Optic

The Museum of New Mexico Press has released a new book about Las Vegas.
Learning Las Vegas: Portrait of a Northern New Mexico Place, by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, is a guide to all things relating to our city. It is not a tourist guide, but rather a 284-page, 10-chapter book that covers everything from the birth of the city to its newest additions.
The book is accentuated by page after page of color photographs. The only photographs not printed in fine quality color are those taken in a time before color was an option.
The book begins by chronicling the town’s history, including its origin, Spanish roots and the initial separation between the east and west sides. After a detailed history of “The Meadow City,” Rogers proceeds to provide a wide range of different perspectives in the following chapters. The author makes it a point to present how everyone sees Las Vegas differently. More than 60 interviews were conducted in the making of this book, everybody from restaurant owners to community theatre group advisers is included.
One thing that is definitely stressed by “Learning Las Vegas” is the unique value of many buildings and constructs in Las Vegas. Within the book you can find multiple large photo spreads and descriptions of homes in the historic districts that have stood the test of time. The author was also careful to acknowledge not only the city itself but also the natural wonders,  monuments and communities surrounding it. And this book does a great job of that by including places like the Castle at Montezuma and  the Fort Union Monument.
I guarantee even if you have lived in Las Vegas all of your life you will find something new in this fine volume.  
A book signing and panel discussions with the author will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Tome On the Range. The book sells for $39.95.

Eric Martin is a Robertson High School sophomore and an intern at the Optic.