The Governor's Mansion

The Governor's Mansion

by Robert Laxalt
     
 

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The Governor's Mansion is a candid, revealing novel about a family caught up in alien territory. Out of this struggle emerges a book richly original and rare in its intimate view of American politics. Leon becomes governor of Nevada during the 1960s. An able lawyer in his own right, he is a neophyte when it comes to dealing with the political ploys of the entrenched… See more details below

Overview

The Governor's Mansion is a candid, revealing novel about a family caught up in alien territory. Out of this struggle emerges a book richly original and rare in its intimate view of American politics. Leon becomes governor of Nevada during the 1960s. An able lawyer in his own right, he is a neophyte when it comes to dealing with the political ploys of the entrenched officeholders who dominate in Nevada. The two faces of Nevada, traditional cowboy country and glitzy Las Vegas where anything goes, make for striking contrast. The author portrays the Las Vegas of shocking mores, its hoodlums, hit men, and hookers with affectionate humor. Leon faces the crisis of his budding political career when he is caught between J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, bent on cleaning out the Mafia, and his own need to protect the autonomy of his native state. An unexpected ally appears when the only man rich enough to solve the governor's dilemma comes to Nevada - reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. The Governor's Mansion neatly concludes the journey from Old World to New World that was begun in the first two books of Robert Laxalt's trilogy: The Basque Hotel and Child of the Holy Ghost.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The empty showmanship of U.S. political campaigns, the glitz of Las Vegas in the 1960s, the seamy alliance of the Mafia and top politicians and the aspirations of a tradition-bound immigrant family converge and collide in Basque-American novelist Laxalt's engrossing story. The concluding volume in a family saga begun in The Basque Hotel and continued in Child of the Holy Ghost, it follows down-to-earth lawyer Leon Indart in his successful run for the Nevada governorship on a conservative Republican ticket; his attempt to rid the state's gambling industry of mob infiltration; and his narrow defeat in a race for the U.S. Senate. Leon's younger brother Pete, a journalist who becomes his aide, narrates the story, providing a witty, devastating look at a political process rife with voter apathy and ignorance, patronage, favor-swapping, dirty tricks and slick packaging of candidates. The two brothers' foray into politics causes confusion and a sense of loss in their white-haired father, a sheepherder clinging to Basque ways, and their supportive, pampering mother. Laxalt spices the novel with cameos of Howard Hughes, J. Edgar Hoover, mobster Moe Dalitz and odds-maker Jimmy the Greek. His honest, clean prose is a pleasure to read. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Here, Laxalt continues the saga of the Indart family (begun in The Basque Hotel, Univ. of Nevada Pr., 1989, and continued in Child of the Holy Ghost, LJ 11/15/92). Once again, the narrator is Pete, son of Basque immigrants, who tells the tale of eldest brother Leon's entrance into politics and the entire family's loss of political innocence. Leon begins by riding on the coattails of the lieutenant governor, a popular silent screen cowboy who is eyeing the governor's post. But the cowboy drops dead in the middle of the race, leaving unknown Republican Leon to fend for himself in a predominantly Democratic state. Leon takes advantage of an untried medium-namely, television-making his appeal for control of 1960s Nevada, where the syndicates control the casinos, the Mormons fight for values, and almost anything goes. Recommended for historical fiction collections.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati Technical Coll., Ohio

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874172515
Publisher:
University of Nevada Press
Publication date:
10/01/1994
Series:
Basque Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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