"Lurid tales of crime and aristocratic extravagance ... Braude describes how savvy impresarios actualized an illusion of their own devising: Monaco as a glamorous oasis in which 'sun-kissed lives played out on clay courts and under canvas sails.' ... The primary pleasure in Making Monte Carlo comes from watching the various eccentrics, lowlifes, high-rollers, and famous artists stroll in to take a seat at the table."
– The Millions
“It’s half the size of Central Park — and one of the wealthiest places on the planet. Now Braude tells how a Victorian-era gambling impresario transformed a sleepy village in resource-free Monaco into a glittering, casino-filled playground for the rich and famous — long before Las Vegas was even a dream.”
– New York Post
“An engrossing examination of how politics, personality, and publicity coalesced to transform a sleepy village into a luxurious playground populated with casinos and beautiful people…Braude admirably balances the political machinations with the glamorous aspects of Monte Carlo in his story”
– Publishers Weekly
“In his first book, about 'how we create places largely through the stories we tell about them,' Braude (History and Urban Studies/Stanford Univ.) takes us on a brisk historical tour of the marketing and selling of the small principality of Monaco and its famous city… A well-researched, dramatic rags-to-riches urban tale.”
– Kirkus Reviews
"Braude takes an intriguing look at the creation of Monte Carlo through the people and their stories, sometimes true and sometimes exaggerated, which helped make the place what it is today. Those interested in the history of modern Europe, specifically the individuals involved in defining its most popular locales, will enjoy this book."
– Library Journal
"Monte Carlo is a place that lives at the edge of our collective imagination: the locus of sensational daring and spectacular wealth. Mark Braude's fluent, detailed account puts flesh on those bones, revealing a largely overlooked history as capacious and dramatic as a nineteenth-century thriller."
– Luc Sante, author of Low Life and The Other Paris
"Part thriller, part historical narrative, Braude's tale is a must-read for anyone interested in money, power and scandal, which is just about any of us. Writing with breezy prose and authoritative research, Braude delves into the seedy world behind Monte Carlo's glitter with gusto. In Making Monte Carlo, we learn not just of the fascinating tapestry of characters who made Monte Carlo a storied mecca for light and dark, but how the town set the stage for so many other recreational playgrounds through history and that we enjoy today."
– Mary Pilon, author of The Monopolists
“In Making Monte Carlo, Braude masterfully tells the story of how princes, profit-seekers, and press agents created luxurious Monte Carlo in resource-poor Monaco. Making expert use of source material, he builds a highly readable, engaging narrative that traces the resort's origins, its Belle Époque glory, and its adjustment to the tensions of the twentieth century. Connecting the rise and evolution of Monte Carlo with the larger social and cultural forces that shaped the era, Making Monte Carlo is a compelling, enlightening read.”
– David G. Schwartz, author of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling
“Braude’s deftly written Making Monte Carlo is social and cultural history at its best. Above all, it is an object lesson in the modern art of promotion. Contrary to Sam Spade, Braude demonstrates that nothing quite pays off like the stuff that dreams are made of.”
– Kenneth E. Silver, author of Making Paradise: Art, Modernity, and the Myth of the French Riviera