Judy's Reviews > Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul
Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul
by Karen Abbott
by Karen Abbott
Nov 16, 10
Read in November, 2010
A very informative book about the sex and prostitution industry in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century and the tension in America between sin and Puritanism. The book focuses on the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in 20th century America, which was located in the Levee district of Chicago and was run by Minna and Ada Everleigh. Unlike other madams operating in Chicago at that time, the Everleigh sisters made sure that their "butterflies" lived comfortably, made a good living, and were examined regularly by reputable doctors. Minna and Ada Everleigh were under constant pressure during the decade that they operated the Everleigh Club. Other madams hated and feared them. One, for example, tried to frame the sisters for the death of Marshall Field, Jr. Also, the sisters needed to constantly ensure that public officials were willing to tolerate and, even in some circumstances, protect their enterprise. But what finally caused the Everleigh sisters to close the Everleigh Club and go into retirement in New York City were Progressive reformers who flooded the media market across the country with stories of sin, corruption, and white slavery. An interesting episode in American history.
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