I enjoy writing, and I get to do a lot of it.
Hey, you might be saying. I’ve read your stuff on the web and I’d like more. This is something I can help you with. You see, I have written or edited a grand total of 11 books so far. Here they are, with links to the sites/pages that have even more information about them. Browse around, have fun.
If you’re the more decisive sort who doesn’t like messing around, you can head straight to my Amazon page to find all of my books that are available for purchase.
At the Sands: The Casino That Shaped Classic Las Vegas, Brought the Rat Pack Together, and Went Out With a Bang.
At the Sands tells the story of how one of the most fondly remembered classic Las Vegas casinos beat the odds to become a success, staged some of the Strip’s most memorable spectaculars, and paved the way for the next generation of Las Vegas resorts. Read all about the Rat Pack’s genesis and best years, how the casino’s managers confounded the feds, and all of the history made at a Las Vegas Strip legend. The Sands may be gone, but it did not fade away.
Boardwalk Playground: The Making, Unmaking, & Remaking of Atlantic City. Las Vegas: Winchester Books, 2015.
The Queen of the Coast. The World’s Playground. The Casino Capital of the East. They can only describe Atlantic City, New Jersey. Beloved, maligned, always-hustling since its 1854 founding, the seaside resort has seen it all: popular amusements on the world famous Boardwalk and its piers, Prohibition, gangsters, speakeasies, celebrities, urban pride, urban decay, a casino revival, a casino collapse—and it hasn’t given up yet. Boardwalk Playground shares a hundred stories of Atlantic City’s high spots and low points of the past century and a half.
Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas. Las Vegas: Winchester Books, 2013.
Jay Sarno built two path-breaking Las Vegas casinos, Caesars Palace (1966) and Circus Circus (1968), and planned but did not build a third, the Grandissimo, which would have started the mega-resort era a decade before Steve Wynn built The Mirage. As mobsters and accountants battled for the soul of the last American frontier town, Las Vegas had possibilities—if you didn’t mind high stakes and stiff odds. Sarno invented the modern Las Vegas casino, but he was part of a dying breed. Grandissimo tells his complete story for the first time.
Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling. Casino Edition. Las Vegas: Winchester Books, 2013
This revised edition updates the original, expanding on its coverage of casinos and Las Vegas. With new chapters on Atlantic City, the 1980s recession and its consequences, and how casinos are faring in the current economic crisis, this book is essential for those who want to understand gambling. There’s also an in-depth consideration of the role of organized crime in the development of casinos and the rise of online gaming. All that and more is why Jim McManus has called it “even more indispensable than the original.”
Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling. First Edition. New York: Gotham, 2006
Spanning millennia, this award-winning book tracks the history of gambling from crude knucklebones to Internet poker. Fascinating personalities from gambling’s past and long-forgotten games spring from the pages of Roll the Bones.
If you enjoy gambling, you’ll be astounded by the fascinating story of how it has developed with humanity. Read it and learn why the Washington Post has called it “something remarkable,” why it won a 2006 Trippie Award, and why it’s a must-read for the fan of gambling.
Cutting the Wire: Gambling Prohibition and the Internet. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2005
At a time when online gaming is being debated, this is a very important book. It traces the past 200 years of anti-gambling legislation in the United States and examines the influences behind the passage of the Wire Act in 1961. This anti-gambling law is still used to stifle legal Internet gaming in the United States, and figures in current efforts to create a legal framework at the federal level.
With chapters on general American legal gambling history and Internet gaming, it puts the current debate over online gambling into perspective.
Suburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond. New York: Routledge, 2003
Developed from Schwartz’s doctoral dissertation in history, this book looks at the forces that shaped the rise of the commercial casino industry in the United States. Its thesis, that the self-contained nature of casino resorts renders them inherently anti-urban, raises profound questions for the use of casinos as urban redevelopment tools. This book helps to explain why casinos evolved as they did, becoming the driving force behind the growth of Las Vegas in the late 20th century.
Tales from the Slot Floor: Casino Slot Managers in Their Own Words
The management of slot machines, which includes overseeing employees, selecting machines, designing the playing space, resolving customer disputes, and conducting analyses to improve operations, is a challenging field whose complexity has grown as the machines themselves have become more sophisticated. Tales from the Slot Floor features slot managers discussing several of the most important issues in today’s casino world, including: the optimal layout of a slot floor; the qualities demonstrated by both good and bad managers; what customers want from their visits to the casino; the vendor/casino relationship; and what the future holds.
Tales from the Pit: Casino Table Games Managers in Their Own Words.
Dealing in a casino presents challenges and rewards not seen in many workplaces. With hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake every minute, casinos are high-stress workplaces. Managing a casino workforce brings stresses of its own. Drawn from these interviews, Tales from the Pit provides an overview of how the interviewees felt about a variety of topics, ranging from their experiences breaking in as new dealers to their transitions to management and the changes the industry has seen over their careers. The current and former managers speak candidly about the owners, bosses, dealers, and players who made each day challenging.
Frontiers in Chance: Gaming Research Across the Disciplines. Las Vegas: UNLV Gaming Press, 2013.
This collection pulls together 17 papers originally published in the series, making them available in one book for the first time. Ranging from the mythologies surrounding notorious gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel to a look at the lessons that the financial crisis (should have) taught Las Vegas casinos to a cross-national examination of how governments spend the money they accrue from gambling proceeds and taxes, this collection draws on several disciplines, including history, sociology, philosophy, public policy, and business.
Taken together, these papers provide a snapshot into the diversity of work currently being conducted in a variety of fields with the common focus of gambling, in its many manifestations.
Jonathan D. Cohen and David G. Schwartz, editors. All In: The Spread of Gambling in Twentieth-Century United States. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2018.
Gambling, the risky enterprise of chance, is one of America’s favorite pastimes. A fresh take on the history of modern American gambling, All In provides a closer look at the shifting economic, cultural, religious, and political conditions that facilitated gambling’s expansion and prominence in American consumerism and popular culture. In its pages a diverse range of essays covering commercial and Native American casinos, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, and more piece together a picture of how gambling became so widespread over the course of the twentieth century.
Pauliina Raento and David G. Schwartz, editors. Gambling, Space, and Time: Shifting Boundaries and Cultures. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2011.
The eight essays in Gambling, Space, and Time use a global and interdisciplinary approach to examine two significant areas of gambling studies that have not been widely explored—the ever-changing boundaries that divide and organize gambling spaces, and the cultures, perceptions, and emotions related to gambling. The contributors represent a variety of disciplines: history, geography, sociology, anthropology, political science, and law.