Martinez, Andrés 1966–
Martinez, Andrés 1966–
PERSONAL: Born 1966, in Mexico; immigrated to United States; married, wife's name Kathy. Education: Yale University, B.A. (cum laude), 1988; Stanford University, M.A., 1989; Columbia University Law School, J.D., 1992.
CAREER: Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, reporter, 1997–98; New York Times, New York, NY, 2000–04, editorial writer, then assistant editorial page editor; Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, editorial page editor, 2004–. Former law clerk for federal district judge Jerry Buchmeyer, Dallas, TX; former associate with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand (law firm), Washington, DC.
AWARDS, HONORS: Harry Chapin Judges' Award, 2003, for New York Times series "Harvesting Poverty;" Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing, 2004.
24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Member of editorial boards of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1995–97, and New York Times.
SIDELIGHTS: Andrés Martinez left his job at the Wall Street Journal to do the research for 24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas. With the 50,000-dollar advance he received for the book, he headed to that city, where he spent a month gambling in the casinos. Martinez writes of his wins and losses at slots, blackjack, and baccarat and profiles other players. He comments on the hotels, strip clubs, and other attractions of the fastest-growing city in the country, on the big players, and on those whose addictions have taken over their lives. He stayed in ten hotels, three nights in each over the month, and notes his favorites, as well as which hotels have been demolished to make room for new ones. He reports that the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has more rooms than does the entire city of San Francisco and comments on the level of participation necessary to eat and drink on the house.
In 24/7 Martinez also notes landmarks he visited, including the World of Coca-Cola Museum and the famous Little White Chapel, where he and his wife renewed their wedding vows. He reports that, three months after his first experiment, he returned to Vegas for a weekend spent at the Luxor, a pyramid-shaped casino, and attended the grand opening of the Bellagio, which occupies the real estate that formerly was the site of the Dunes. Although his stay at the Luxor was free, Martinez's second trip cost him a considerable chunk of his advance. He passes along advice on gambling, including a tip he received from a cab driver who told him to "endeavor to be as crazy on the upside as you are on the downside."
New York Times Book Review contributor Robert R. Harris called 24/7 "a good-hearted, perceptive and funny account of a month spent risking the nest egg." Peter H. Stone wrote in the Washington Post Book World that Martinez's account also offers "some intriguing snapshots of how Las Vegas's gambling culture is undergoing a major face-lift and what this may mean for the future of a fast-growing and powerful business."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Martinez, Andrés, 24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Booklist, November 15, 1999, Mary Carroll, review of 24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas, p. 598.
Boston Globe, November 28, 1999, "When the Chips Are Down: Confronting the Fascination of Casino Gambling," Ariel Swartley, review of 24/7, p. H1.
Chicago Tribune, January 2, 2000, Chris Petrakos, "Two New Books Offer Glittery and Gritty Views of Las Vegas," review of 24/7, p. 5.
Library Journal, October 15, 1999, Marty Soven, review of 24/7, p. 90.
Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2004, Monte Morin, "Times Names Pulitzer Finalist as Editorial Page Editor," p. B3.
New York Times, November 25, 1999, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "Gambling to Win or Lose, but Mostly Just to Play," review of 24/7, p. E16.
New York Times Book Review, November 28, 1999, Robert R. Harris, "Losing It," review of 24/7, p. 8.
Publishers Weekly, October 25, 1999, review of 24/7, p. 67.
Washington Post Book World, December 19, 1999, Peter H. Stone, review of 24/7, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times Web site, http://latimes.com/ (May 14, 2005), "Andrés Martinez."
Savvy Traveler Web site, http://savvytraveler.publicradio.org/ (May 14, 2005), transcript of interview with Martinez.