Nevada’s politics are in large measure the result of its turbulent history and harsh environment. Michael W. Bowers’s concise volume explains the dynamics of the state’s political formation process, which is strikingly unique among the fifty states. Even today, Nevada is unlike the other states in its politics and culture: economically right, yet libertarian and home to widespread gaming and a 24/7 industry. It has a high percentage of federally owned lands and one of the highest rates of urbanism in the United States, yet is often dominated by rural legislators.
This comprehensive and insightful explanation discusses how Nevada’s history has shaped its political culture, and how its government operates today. The Sagebrush State serves as a highly readable and accessible text for the study of Nevada’s political history and constitution, which is a graduation requirement at the state’s colleges and universities. The sixth edition is updated through 2020 and includes the latest changes in the selection process of municipal court judges in the state, the resurgence of the Democrats after their losses in 2016, and the full text of the state constitution with extensive annotations of all amendments to the original 1864 document. It also examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn on the state’s budget.