This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with David G. Schwartz, author of “At the Sands: The Casino That Shaped Classic Las Vegas, Brought the Rat Pack Together, and Went Out With a Bang.” In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Schwartz talks about the impact of the Sands on past and present Las Vegas; its mob connection; the unique nature of its entertainment and showroom; some of the key people who controlled the resort and its operations; and why it was instrumental in promoting Las Vegas as well as itself.
Schwartz, a professor and the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studies gambling and casinos, video games, Las Vegas, tourism, and higher education.
He has written several books, including Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas, Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling, and Boardwalk Playground: The Making, Unmaking, & Remaking of Atlantic City.
Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Schwartz earned his bachelor’s degree (a double major in anthropology and history) as well as his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania before receiving his doctorate in US History from UCLA. His academic interest in gambling stems from his hands-on experience in the casino industry as a security officer, surveillance officer, and Mr. Peanut.