‘Mr. Basque’ to present tales of Nevada

From a Sundance Books and Music news release

Death After Life Douglass Cover Black Rock InstituteSundance Books and Music will host William Douglass, “Mr. Basque,” for a reading and signing from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14. He will be presenting his new book, Death After Life: Tales of Nevada (Black Rock Institute Press).

Douglass is the grandson of famed Tonopah legend Billy Douglass. His father Jack was a pioneer in the Nevada gaming business, operating a slot route in central Nevada mining communities in the 1930s and ultimately becoming one of the original partners in Reno’s Club Cal Neva. Bill’s father was an early resident of Tonopah, and his grandparents watched the Comstock during its 1860s prime.

Although the stories in Death After Life have fictional touches, they are also autobiographical. In addition to three generations of the Douglass family, these stories borrow from firsthand experiences of trapping, sowing wild oats, hunting, fishing and collecting reptiles for paying customers while touching on long years of family responsibility and managing casinos. Death After Life has also been translated in Spanish and Basque.

A University of Chicago-trained social anthropologist in his academic training, Douglass co-founded, with Robert Laxalt, UNR’s Center for Basque Studies. He has written about two dozen books and 200 articles, mostly of the academic variety, on anthropological and historical topics. His many publications on the Basques earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Basque” as well as a number of international honors and awards.

Retired from teaching and having set aside the custody of gaming establishments, Douglass is a ranch owner. In Death Before Life he is first and foremost a storyteller, a role that allows him to reflect on his past and that of Nevada, a place so young (in terms of Euro-American settlement) and so changeable (in terms of flash-in-the-pan boom and bust cycles) that it has the fewest native-born residents in the United States.

Learn more at sundancebookstore.com/douglass.

Nevada historian to present new book about the state

From a Sundance Books and Music news release

Nevada-A-History-of-the-Silver-State_Hi-Res_smallNevada historian Michael S. Green will present his new book, Nevada: A History of the Silver State (University of Nevada Press, 2015) at a reading and book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at Sundance Books and Music.

Green provides a detailed survey of the Silver State’s past, from the arrival of the early European explorers to the predominance of mining in the 1800s, the rise of world-class tourism in the twentieth century and more recent attempts to diversify the economy.

Of the numerous themes central to Green’s analysis of Nevada’s history, luck plays a significant role in the state’s growth. The miners and gamblers who first visited the state all bet on luck. Today, the biggest contributor to Nevada’s tourist economy, gaming, still relies on that same belief in luck. Nevada’s financial system has generally been based on a “one industry” economy: first mining and then gaming. Green delves deeply into the limitations of this structure while exploring the theme of exploitation of the land and overuse of the state’s natural resources.

Green covers many more aspects of the Silver State’s narrative, including the dominance of one region of the state over another, political forces and corruption, and the citizens’ often tumultuous relationship with the federal government. The book will appeal to scholars, students and other readers interested in Nevada history.

Green is an associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, specializing in 19th-century politics and the American West. He is the author of several books on these subjects, including Las Vegas: A Centennial History.

Learn more at http://www.sundancebookstore.com/Green.

Local paranormal historian to present new book

From a Sundance Books and Music news release

9453-GHOS-cvr.inddIndependent historian Janice Oberding will read from and sign her new book, Ghosts of Goldfield and Tonopah, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, at Sundance Books and Music.

About the book
Echoes of prospectors, forlorn widows and politicians linger in the streets and historic remnants of Nevada’s former boomtowns. In the throes of early financial disaster, the Silver State had little to entice newcomers or discourage residents from leaving. Jim Butler’s silver discovery at Tonopah changed everything. With a subsequent gold discovery near Goldfield, the rush was on, and from these burgeoning mines, Nevada’s early leaders amassed their wealth and power.

Oberding, a paranormal historian, shares firsthand accounts of ghostly encounters in the Goldfield and Mizpah hotels and uncovers the histories behind the mysterious cowboy ghost, the haggard hitchhiker and other eerie local tales.The book is the newest addition to The History Press Haunted America series.

About the author
Oberding is a past docent of the Nevada Historical Society and Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City. The author of numerous books on Nevada’s history, true crime, and unusual occurrences and hauntings, she speaks on these subjects throughout the state. She also teaches the popular courses Ghosthunting 101 and Nevada’s Quirky Historical Facts for the community education program at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Learn more at sundancebookstore.com/oberding.