SON OF A GAMBLING MAN by Bob Miller

SON OF A GAMBLING MAN

My Journey from a Casino Family to the Governor's Mansion

KIRKUS REVIEW

The candid account of how the son of a casino owner who consorted with Chicago gangsters found his way into Nevada state politics and into the governor's mansion.

Chicago native Miller was just 10 years old when his illegal bookmaker father got the opportunity to run "a legal (but posh) gambling resort in…Las Vegas." The Sin City of the 1950s bore no resemblance to the sprawling metropolis it would become: "Las Vegas spread out like boiling water on a flat surface, the streets almost swallowed by the desert." Here, Miller's father was able to remake himself into a highly respected casino businessman and pillar of the community. After studying law, a profession his father had once dreamed of pursuing, the author began working in the field of law enforcement. Eventually, he ran for and was elected Clark County district attorney, but not without running into the shadow of his father's colorful past. In an attempt to discredit him, his opponent had suggested that Miller could never be "an impartial county prosecutor if [he] was the son of someone in the gaming business," especially someone who had dealt with former mobsters. This would not be the last time Miller would encounter this kind of prejudice. Throughout the remainder of a political career that would ultimately lead him to the Nevada governor's mansion, Miller successfully staved off attacks against both his character, as well as that of his father. He never apologizes for what his father was, nor does he attempt to play down his father's activities. Rather, Miller celebrates having grown up "the son of a gambling man” and having had the chance to serve a state that gave that gambling man the chance at a better life.

A refreshingly unpretentious statement of personal history and political accomplishment that avoids the pitfall of excessive self-congratulation.

Pub Date: March 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0312591816
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2013




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