Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native-American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino

Kim Isaac Eisler, Author
Kim Isaac Eisler, Author Simon & Schuster $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-684-85470-0
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-7432-1488-9
Paperback - 267 pages - 978-0-8032-6745-9
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In this well-paced legal and political saga, journalist Eisler (A Shark Tank; A Justice for All) recounts the deft maneuvering by Connecticut's tiny Pequot tribe in its fight to establish Foxwoods, now the most profitable high-stakes casino in the world. European accounts from the early 16th century describe the Pequots (meaning ""destroyers"") as ""the most numerous, the most warlike, the fiercest and the bravest of all the aboriginal clans of Connecticut."" After major defeats at the hands of the English and the Dutch, the tribe was declared dissolved in 1638, although some diehard Pequots retained their identity despite their declining numbers. By the 1970s, they had dwindled to some 55 souls, mostly living below the poverty line, when tribal chairman ""Skip"" Hayward lined up some legal-aid lawyers and, in effect, declared war with modern legal tools (including contributions of ""soft money"" to the Democratic National Party, which gained them the direct support of President Clinton). The cast of characters includes Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Donald Trump. Packaged with a flashy, attention-grabbing cover, this climactic revenge narrative--which turned southeastern Connecticut's economy upside down, with employees leaving local businesses in droves for the chance to work at Foxwoods while the Pequots donated cards and dice to the local school systems in the hopes of turning kids into future employees--reveals that, like it or not, the Native American is a ""Casino-American,"" and that it's a brave new world. (Feb. 16)
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