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Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul
 
 
Author
Karen Abbott.
Publisher Random House/QPB  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780739491850
Pages/Publication Date 356/2007
Daedalus Item Code 03269
This item is not available.
Description
"Chicago, the saying goes, ain't ready for reform. It certainly wasn't in 1899, when sisters Ada and Minna 'Everleigh' (real name: Simms) opened their brothel. As [Karen] Abbott's jaunty history relates, their whorehouse was not a tawdry bang barn for johns with a nickel but a glitzy palace of paid pleasure for plutocrats. Ada and Minna's Everleigh Club prospered, protected by payoffs to Chicago's legendary political crooks 'Bathhouse' Coughlin and 'Hinky Dink' Kenna, but the bordello's brazenness mobilized moralists alarmed by vice, so-called white slavery in particular. An entertaining read, by turns bawdy and sad, as when a courtesan ends up dead, Abbott's account extends beyond local history because the campaign against Ada and Minna had lasting national effects: the closure of urban red-light districts and the passage of the federal Mann Act concerning prostitution. Abbott adroitly evokes the cathouse atmosphere, but it is the rapier-sharp character sketches of the cast that best show off her authorial skills and will keep readers continually bemused as they learn about the lives and times of two madams."Booklist
 
 
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