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Portland Confidential: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Rose City
From a Portland Tribune columnist comes Portland Confidential, the story of Big Jim Elkins, a conman and criminal who arrived in Portland in 1937 and helped unleash prostitution, bootlegging, gambling, and drug running.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Westwiinds Press
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I liked this a lot, but it left me wanting more. I know very little Portland history, but it's captivating to hear dirt about the real estate deals behind the Memorial Coliseum. Well, there's not enough info about that exactly, but it's a good teaser. We never hear too much more than the basics. Despite the brevity, or maybe because of it, and because of the accompanying photographs, this is a treat to read - a quick read. Terry Schrunk caught with his pants down? Who would have guessed. It's ...more
An interesting read about Portland's not-so-distant past of gambling and corruption (how the hell did Terry Schrunk get thrice-elected and earn a plaza with his name on it?), although Stanford's writing style is choppy and rather irritating.
I wanted to read a book about the history of the sex industry in Portland because I'm writing a poem about a strip club in Portland. This book was OK! It was fun and interesting but didn't dig too deeply. Could have used more first person sources and I wish he placed the whole story in more of a global historical context.