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The Outer Edge of the Wave

American Frontiers in Las Vegas


Ingrid Eumann

In an interdisciplinary approach this book for the first time explores frontier-related elements in «real» Las Vegas as well as its representations in literature and film. Drawing on a broad range of sources, the analysis reveals that, although Las Vegas highlights its new frontiers in the entertainment industry, the city operates within a framework that builds on Old Frontier concepts adapted to meet the needs of present-day Western experience culture. The Outer Edge of the Wave therefore suggests that the concept of the American frontier as a cultural symbol has continued to be at the very core of the success of the cultural symbol Las Vegas. Today’s Las Vegas, with its kaleidoscopic assemblage of frontier interpretations and adaptations, thus represents a unique version of the American frontier.
Contents: The American Frontier - Conceptions and Theories – Western Lands and Turner’s Thesis – Expanding and Adapting the Concept – Las Vegas - Western Boomtown – History and Residents – Entertainment Metropolis – Promoting the Las Vegas Total – Las Vegas Literature and Film - Sin City and the American West – Overview and Critical Approach – Modern Westering – Cowboy Town – Transformations.