Sharon's Reviews > Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
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's review
Sep 06, 07

bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: history buffs, would be madams
Read in September, 2007

This book was a real page turner, and a fascinating and well researched snapshot of Chicago history. The writing is excellent and reads like fiction through much of the book. I loved reading the descriptions of the brothels and the daily life of their inhabitants, particularly what set the Everleigh club apart from lower institutions. I did feel that the events and and the more minor players were underdeveloped at times, which made some of the people hard to track and remember. The first half was definitely better than the second - in a way mirroring the rushing success of the Everleigh initially, with the let-down of the sudden closing of the club. There was a good balance of detailted desciption of the opulance of the club and the lifestyle of the Chicago underworld, with the cultural war going on in the city and throughout the rest of the US and the world at the time.
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