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A House Is Not a Home
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A House Is Not a Home

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Polly Adler's "house" -- the brothel that gave this best-selling 1953 autobiography its title -- was a major site of New York City underworld activity from the 1920s through the 1940s. Adler's notorious Lexington Avenue house of prostitution functioned as a sort of social club for New York's gangsters and a variety of other celebrities, including Robert Benchley and his fr ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by University of Massachusetts Press (first published 1953)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rob Roy
Aug 10, 2009 Rob Roy rated it liked it
Shelves: biographical
Ever wonder about life in a house of ill repute?
Sep 21, 2009 Staciarj rated it really liked it
Incredibly interesting view of New York in the 20's and 30's. This was a very interesting woman and her story brings up issues of sexism, class, and the ethics of sex and class.
Jan 27, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sex nerds
Shelves: sex-work, history
I'm skeptical about autobiographies. If conscience makes cowards of us all, then memory makes liars of us all, and the combination of the two makes most autobiographies and memoirs a little suspect, at least. Take into account also that a person like Polly Adler, who was New York's most prominent madam from the '20s through the '50s, had a lot that she would have needed to intentionally fudge over to protect herself and others. Among her acquaintances and clients were such names as Dutch Schultz ...more
Sep 12, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. Although I am sure Ms. Adler left out a lot just because of the nature of her business, still, it is a fairly accurate account of the life of a Polish immigrant who could not find work. She is a human being first, a madam second. I read this many years ago and today it is still fascinating. I am continuously intrigued by the life and times of those living in the 20's- 30's.
Hope Schachter
I enjoyed this book immensely..both the storyline and the historical perspective. It was a great story about one of the first madams in America and the historical characters that were a part of that world.
Matifadza Mutigwa
Nov 02, 2015 Matifadza Mutigwa rated it really liked it
Shelves: matie
the bomb ....!!!!!!
Nov 26, 2014 Veronica rated it liked it
An interesting read---a sneak peak of Polly Adler.
Apr 14, 2008 Lizzy rated it really liked it
Incredibly interesting tales of a classy whore-house back in the day. Really fun read!
Denise rated it it was ok
Dec 13, 2009
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Feb 01, 2008
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Sep 02, 2012
David Madden
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Aug 31, 2014
Laura rated it it was amazing
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Feb 18, 2008
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Jun 11, 2014
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Feb 20, 2016
Anne Samachson
Anne Samachson rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2013
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Jan 01, 2017 Lynnie added it
What a wonderful enlightening book. A real knockout memoir.
Laura Huober
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