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Tonopah squadron’s story brought to light in retired colonel’s book.
In 1978, outside the sleepy town of Tonopah, the U.S. Air Force built an airfield and placed Soviet MiG aircraft there. The squadron formed to operate the airfield was officially known as the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron and provided air-to-air combat training to Air Force, Navy, and Marine aircrews with actual Soviet-built aircraft. Known as the Red Eagles, the unit operated in secrecy until 1988.
The first commander of the 4477th at Tonopah was Col. (retired) Gaillard R. Peck Jr., who has written the book, America’s Secret MiG Squadron: The Red Eagles of Project CONSTANT PEG. Peck, now a resident of Las Vegas, will be inducted into the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame on November 9 in Henderson.
Peck was selected for his work on a once highly secret Air Force program codenamed CONSTANT PEG. This incredible effort used covertly acquired Soviet-built aircraft to prepare American fighter aircrews for aerial combat. During the 1970s and '80s, carefully selected U.S. fighter pilots, specially trained in Soviet tactics, flew these aircraft from the remote Tonopah Test Range airfield, giving other U.S. aircrews an unprecedented opportunity to experience mock aerial combat against an "aggressor" that was trained and outfitted to fly the actual Soviet equipment. This vastly increased their effectiveness when they later experienced the real thing.
The unit flew MiG-17, MiG-21, and MiG-23 aircraft, restored to flying status and expertly maintained by technicians every bit as skilled as the pilots. Peck put the program together, from concept to airfield construction to supporting aircraft restoration to initial flight operations. Order Peck’s book at ospreypublishing.com. Learn more about the squadron at 4477reaa.com.
|Atomic Comics: Cartoonists Confront the Nuclear World|
By Ferenc Morton Szasz, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 200 pages
At the dawn of the Atomic Age, the wonders and dangers of this strange new energy were debated by scientists, journalists, and politicians. But for millions of ordinary Americans, their primary source of information was comic books, comic strips, and cartoons. Szasz's award-winning Atomic Comics analyzes the themes, content, and imagery of comics in the United States and Japan, offering a fascinating perspective on the way popular culture shaped comprehension of the fissioned atom for more than three generations.
|Bright Light City: Las Vegas in Popular Culture|
By Larry Gragg, University Press of Kansas, kansaspress.ku.edu, 785-864-4154, 303 pages
When Elvis Presley crooned “bright light city gonna set my soul on fire,” he voiced and embraced the siren call of a glittering urban utopia that continues to mesmerize millions. Call it Sin City or Lost Wages; Las Vegas definitely deserves its rapturous “Viva!” Gragg, however, invites readers to view Las Vegas in an entirely new way. While countless other authors have focused on its history, gaming industry, or entertainment ties, Gragg considers how popular culture has depicted the city and its powerful allure over Vegas’ first century.
|The Caregiver's Journal|
By Marie Gibson, the-caregivers-journal.com, 775-720-3282
If you have a family member or loved one in a hospital or rehab facility, your life may need simplification. The Caregiver’s Journal will make the visit easier and allow you to maintain control. Coordinate communications among multiple caregivers. Refresh your memory about visits with medical staff, doctors, and therapists. Jot notes to yourself, the patient, and other caregivers…you will appreciate this easy-to-use tool! Gibson, from Reno, is a business consultant and award-winning college instructor.
By H. Lee Barnes, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-784-6573, 201 pages
Jude is a Las Vegas casino dealer who barely survived the deadly MGM fire in 1980. More than two decades later, he’s still dealing, a tired, middle-aged man, divorced, struggling with debt, and trying to be a good father to his children. Then he loses his job and his car is totaled in an accident. When an attractive woman friend offers to help him get another job, Jude is happy to go along. Gradually, he realizes that his new job is part of an elaborate scheme to cheat a casino and that his own fate and that of his children depend on his finding the courage and ingenuity to extricate himself.
|Discover Las Vegas: Experience the Best of Las Vegas|
By Bridget Gleeson, Lonely Planet, lonelyplanet.com, 510-250-6400, 288 pages
Discover Las Vegas features the most iconic sights and incredible places so you can enjoy the real Las Vegas with minimal fuss. This book reveals must-see attractions and unbeatable experiences, city walks that let you explore the city on foot, local experts’ advice on what not to miss, and a pullout map that puts the streets of Las Vegas in your pocket.
By Alberto Hazan, M.D., VB Publishing, amazon.com, 275 pages
Hazan, an emergency physician in Las Vegas, introduces his latest novel, a medical thriller entitled Dr. Vigilante. Doctor by day. Vigilante by night. Robert lives a double life in New York City. He spends his days treating patients at the St. Jude's Hospital ER and his nights going after the psychopaths who wrong them: child molesters, wife beaters, and rapists. But when the fiery, beautiful new social worker discovers his secret identity and their love affair takes off, Robert is forced to face some hard questions: Do the ends justify the means? After years of hunting down psychopaths, is Robert turning into one himself? An action thriller with strong, distinct characters, filled with suspense and surprise, Dr. Vigilante is also a love story unfolding amid the turmoil and drama of a busy ER.
|Everyday Las Vegas: Local Life in a Tourist Town|
By Rex J. Rowley, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 272 pages
Every year, more than 35 million people visit Las Vegas. Another 2 million call the city home. Everyday Las Vegas takes a close look at what life is like for locals in Sin City, a place that the rest of the world sees as an exotic, even decadent, vacation destination. Using interviews with more than 100 local residents, Rowley examines the routines of everyday life in a place that has long sold itself as the No. 1 escape from reality.
|Fire Up Your Life!: A Journey to Transformation|
By Donna Hartley, Authority Publishing, authoritypublishing.com, 877-800-1097, 196 pages
Do you love yourself? Do you have a good relationship with your family and friends? Are you living your goals and dreams? If you die today, have you left this planet a better place for being here? If you answer "no" to any of these questions, then Fire Up Your Life!: A Journey to Transformation, the first book in the Fire Up Your Life! series, is a must-read. The stage is set with the compelling true-life story of Hartley's survival of flight 603. Trapped in the flaming inferno, she receives a mysterious message questioning her actions on earth. This book will inspire you with firepower to transform your life. Hartley is a resident of Lake Tahoe.
|Foretold: Inspired by Actual Events and Ancient Prophecies|
By M.P. Manilla, AuthorHouse Publishing, authorhouse.com, 888-519-5121, 320 pages
A terrorist plot to blow up the government’s high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain threatens to fulfill a Hopi prophecy that this world will be destroyed by poison rain. Only the rebellious daughter of a Hopi clan leader, the maverick U.S. Army officer she once loved and lost, and a shaman with supernatural powers, challenge the threatened disaster and join forces to save America from being buried under a massive cloud of radioactive fallout—the poison rain in the Hopi prophecy. But first they must unravel the mysteries of Yucca Mountain as well as the terrorist’s identity, while the shaman seeks salvation on a vision quest and enlists the spirit world to help them in their dangerous journey.
|The Gold Rush Letters of E. Allen Grosh and Hosea B. Grosh|
Edited by Ronald M. James and Robert E. Stewart, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-784-6573
Brothers Allen and Hosea Grosh left Pennsylvania in 1849 to join the droves of men hoping to find a fortune. The brothers’ search for wealth brought them to Nevada’s Gold Canyon, where they prospected for gold and silver. The letters they sent back to their family offer vivid commentaries on the turbulent western frontier, the diverse society of the gold rush camps, and the heartbreaking labor and frustration of mining. The book recently received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
|Great Basin Indians: An Encyclopedic History|
By Michael Hittman, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 512 pages
The Native American inhabitants of the Great Basin have a long, eventful history and rich cultures. This book covers all aspects of the world of the Shoshone, Ute, Washoe, Paiute, and others in Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. Hittman’s history is organized in an A-to-Z format to allow full discussion of many diverse topics, including geography, religion, culture, art, and artifacts.
|Historical Nevada: 150 Memorable Images in Celebration of the Silver State's Sesquicentennial|
By Nevada Magazine, RR Donnelley, nevadamagazine.com, 775-687-0610, 159 pages
In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday in 2014, Nevada Magazine has published a special book. This is a great way for Nevadans and Nevada enthusiasts to celebrate the state’s heritage. The cover shows the Virginia & Truckee Railroad as it was in 1876 Carson City. The book also pays homage to Nevada Magazine’s annual Nevada Historical Calendar, because the 150 images showcased are the most intriguing and memorable from 36 years of calendars (1978-2013).
|Images of America: Early Las Vegas|
By Dr. Linda Karen Miller, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 128 pages
After the departure of the early Mormon settlers in 1857, early Las Vegas continued to be a watering stop for overland travelers on the Mormon Road. The area was mainly ranches and mines until railroad rivals eyed the Las Vegas Valley. Senator William Clark of Montana bought the land and water rights to the former Mormon settlement from ranching pioneer Helen J. Stewart. The foundation for modern Las Vegas was laid in 1905, as auctioneers gaveled out the plans for the future of Las Vegas at Clark's town site. Today, those sights and sounds are recalled as the community comes together to recreate the past in Mormon settlement days and for the Helldorado Parade, marking the city's birth.
|Images of America: Hoover Dam|
By Renée Corona Kolvet , Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
Hoover Dam was America's shining light during the dark days of the Great Depression. This monumental structure was the largest federal works project of its time, constructed after years of scientific study and political maneuvering by California boosters. This thirsty state looked to the untapped Colorado River to supply reliable water for Imperial Valley farms and the fast-growing Los Angeles metropolitan area. Harnessing the unruly Colorado River would be no easy task. An extremely tall dam—more than 700 feet—was designed to store two years of river flow, trap tons of silt, and gain control of the river. Meanwhile, the small town of Boulder City, born during the dam's construction, still thrives in the shadow of Hoover Dam.
|Images of America: Lake Tahoe A Maritime History|
By Peter Goin, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
Lake Tahoe’s legendary scenic beauty is witnessed annually by millions of visitors. While the lake’s first sighting by a nonnative in 1843 was made from a mountain peak, the lake’s maritime history began a scant seven years later. Although most of the early steamers were designed for industrial use, the sight of a boat venturing out onto the vast, deep blue expanse of Lake Tahoe attracted the attention of residents and visitors alike. After the inevitable decline of extractive industries, tourism became the main economic engine in Lake Tahoe.
|Images of America: Reno’s Riverwalk District|
By Courtney Rhiana and Christopher Ryan Meredith, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
During the mid-1800s, Charles Fuller established the first bridge to cross the Truckee River in Reno. Shortly after, settlers took residence, built a vibrant community, and called the banks of the Truckee River home. From the booming Comstock Lode and the expansion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Reno was a town of growth. By the mid-1900s, Reno showcased some of the state's most historic structures and had become known as the divorce capital of the country. The area of Reno now recognized as the Riverwalk District faced reckless floods, storms, and devastating fires, and yet its rich history and culture has prevailed for nearly a century.
|Images of America: Showgirls of Las Vegas|
By Lisa Gioia-Acres, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
As soon as resort casinos began to dot the dusty Las Vegas landscape, major stars, extravagant show productions, and beautiful women helped promote the city to become the ultimate adult playground. The over-the-top Las Vegas productions may have faded into obscurity, leaving but one show—Bally's Jubilee—as the longest-running showgirl show on the Las Vegas Strip, but the iconic showgirl will forever represent Las Vegas in all of its glitz and glory.
|Living in Limbo|
By Thomas Paul, Lucky Bat Books, luckybatbooks.com, 775-771-7320
Paul features a family's roller coaster journey through the housing crisis. Unfortunately, many Nevada residents will be able to relate to this modern-day David versus Goliath tale. The story follows the main character, Barry Joseph, and his family through the challenges of trying to stay in their home despite the myriad of efforts to cooperate with the bank's endless requests and demands. Eventually, Barry finds himself compelled to take matters into his own hands.
|MINERAL Monograph No. 18: Nevada—Jackpot!|
Lithographie, Ltd., lithographie.org, 303-495-5521, 128 pages
This Denver-based publisher, which specializes in books on mining and minerals, worked with a team of Nevada geologists and collectors to publish No. 18 in its biannual MINERAL monograph series. The illustrated, 128-page book is an overview of mining and mineral collecting in the Silver State. This volume is the first of a number planned to cover states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.
|Minimal Damage: Stories of Veterans|
By H. Lee Barnes, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-784-6573, 200 pages
Minimal Damage: Stories of Veterans contains seven stories and a novella that depicts veterans of several wars in search of dignity and purpose in a civilian life that has no need for men who were soldiers. With emotion, humor, and clarity, Barnes creates characters that show us what it is to live with the trauma of having experienced combat. The fractured souls and twisted lives of these men remind us that war’s ultimate damage extends far beyond the battlefield.
|My Mind is an Open Mouth: A Life Behind the Mic|
By Cork Proctor and Carolyn V. Hamilton, LifeStories Books, lifestoriesbooks.com, 702-383-0486, 288 pages
With his outlandish, rapid-fire humor, Proctor has been knockin’ ’em dead for 60 years. From his first attempt at stand-up comedy as a gravedigger entertaining his co-worker to lounges and showrooms around the world—on land and sea—this left-handed, dyslexic, two-time high school dropout has not only seen it all, he tells it all. Proctor currently lives in Las Vegas.
|Nevada Photographer: A Guide to the Rural Regions|
By Cynthia Delaney, with introduction by David Moore, Beowawe Press, cynthiadelaney.com
This book is the ultimate read for every Nevada photographer. Inside, discover essential techniques for taking and making quality photographs, detailed expeditions for the adventurous cinematographer, historical facts about cool places in Nevada, and a resource guide with helpful tips on marketing or sharing your images.
|Parallel to Paradise: Addiction and Other Love Stories|
By Laura Newman, LeRue Press, lauranewmanauthor.com, 775-849-3814, 166 pages
Included in Newman’s first book of short stories are tales about a Catholic girl contemplating an abortion; a gay boy growing up in the Wild West; a WWII soldier who can only save his mind by singing; and a mother of a heroin addict. Newman founded the Heroin Committee, a group that produces and runs commercials to educate parents about the drugs their kids are most likely to be exposed to.
|Red Rock Canyon Visitor Guide|
By Tom Moulin, Snell Press, snellpress.com, 207 pages
Long treasured by locals, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area provides a spectacular natural retreat minutes from Las Vegas that is bestowed with lush springs, verdant plants, ample wildlife, unique geological formations, and a colorful history. Whether you have a few hours to escape or a lifetime to explore, myriad activities and things to see await within the expansive borders of the conservation area. The meticulously researched Red Rock Canyon Visitor Guide features an extensive chronicle of the region’s past and a thorough field guide to the area’s plants and animals. The pocket-sized, durable book is designed to be taken into the wilderness with you and provides all you need to know to hike, bike, see the sights, and experience Southern Nevada’s finest outdoor destination.
|Son of a Gambling Man: My Journey from a Casino Family to the Governor’s Mansion|
By Governor Bob Miller, Foreword by President Bill Clinton, St. Martin’s Press, macmillan.com, 646-307-5151, 272 pages
When Bob Miller arrived in Las Vegas as a boy, it was a small, dusty city, a far cry from the glamorous, exciting place it is today. Driving the family car was his father Ross Miller, a tough guy—but a good family man—who had operated on both sides of the law on some of the meaner streets of industrial Chicago. Bob eventually went on to law school, entering law enforcement and ultimately becoming a popular governor of Nevada, holding office longer than anybody in the state’s history. And the Miller family’s legacy continues. Bob’s own son (Ross, like his grandfather) is presently serving as Secretary of State in Nevada. A warm family memoir, the story of a city heir, with just a little bit of The Godfather and Casino thrown in for spice, Son of a Gambling Man is a unique and thoroughly memorable story.
|Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows: Tales From Two Valleys|
By Eddy Starr Ancinas, The History Press, historypress.net, 843-628-9003, 160 pages
In this account, longtime skier Ancinas shares the histories of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows as they’ve never been told before, including the stories of John Reily, Wayne Poulsen, and Alex Cushing—the visionaries whose dreams and determination forever transformed North Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley made a name for itself on the world stage as host of the 1960 Winter Olympics.
By Don Waters, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-784-6573, 208 pages
The breakout first novel by Waters is a big, rollicking, character-filled novel—an entertaining and humane view at life on the margins in America today. In Sunland, protagonist Sid Dulaney, in his mid-30s, between jobs and short on funds, finds himself in Tucson taking care of his beloved grandmother. To hold down costs, he reluctantly starts smuggling her medications over the border. What follows are his picaresque misadventures involving the lovable eccentrics at her retirement village, a voluptuous former babysitter, midnight voicemails from his exasperated ex-girlfriend, Mexican gang threats, and—perplexingly—a giraffe. Born and raised in Reno, Waters' home is now in Portland.
|Tales from Lost Vegas|
By Ed Hawkins, vegasvalleycomicbookfestival.org, 40 pages
Three young friends form a bond as they face strange characters and unexpected perils in a lost city beneath the streets of Las Vegas. Tales from Lost Vegas is an original, 40-page, full-color comic book that tells the story of three middle school friends who discover a lost complex hidden beneath the streets of Las Vegas, where they encounter robotic ants, cybernetic mob enforcers, and the floating head of Howard Hughes. It's a fun, all-ages adventure-comedy packed with witty banter, bizarre characters, and genuine drama.
|Waiting for the Cars: Alfred A. Hart’s Stereoscopic Views of the Central Pacific Railroad, 1863-1869|
By Howard Goldbaum and Wendell W. Huffman, waitingforthecars.com, 775-687-6953
Waiting for the Cars features 218 Alfred A. Hart photographs of the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. The images are presented as the photographer made them, in full 3D stereo and made accessible by the included 3D glasses, and extensive captions share Hart’s observations. The text is by Wendell Huffman, a prominent Nevada railroad historian.