read Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul kindle Õ Hardcover µ hannahredhead

reader Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul

read Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul kindle Õ Hardcover µ hannahredhead ì Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club the most famous brothel in American history–and the catalyst for a cLot’s earnings and kept a “whipper” on staff to mete out discipline the Everleighs made sure their girls dined on gourmet food were examined by an honest physician and even tutored in the literature of BalzacNot everyone appreciated the sisters’ attempts to elevate the industry Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field Jr But the sisters’ most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of “white slavery the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels This furor shaped Amer In the winter of 1899 a train clattered toward Chicago fat coils of smoke whipping the sky Minna and Ada Everleigh sat together in a Pullman Palace car sipping wine served by porters in white jackets and gloves The air inside the car hung heavy and whisper uiet but the sisters were restless giddy with plans they would build upon what they had learned as madams in Omaha Nebraska and create the finest brothel in historyMan who doesn't love a good old timey hooker story? Karen Abbott's story of the Everleigh sisters' rise and fall in the vice district of early 20th century Chicago is engrossing well researched and fun Minna and Ada Everleigh not their real names of course came to Chicago with plans to start the best brothel in Chicago and they were uniue in that respect because they wanted to run a house where girls would want to work Other brothels of the time got their girls by kidnapping drugs and rape but the Everleigh sisters were different The Everleigh sisters vowed never to deal with pimps desperate parents selling off children panders and white slavers If you treated girls well they would come begging for admittance A prospective Everleigh courtesan must prove she's eighteen in order to earn an interview understand exactly what the job entailed and know she's free to leave anytime for any reason without penaltyStarting on this basis the Everleigh sisters bought a house in Chicago's infamous Levee district and soon created the most exclusive beautiful and famous brothel in Chicago They entertained politicians gangsters playboys and princes they even at one point admitted a famous African American boxer into the Everleigh Club an act which was socially forbidden at the time the girls all found the boxer delightful and there was no troubleClients came to see the Moorish Room featuring the obligatory Turkish corner complete with overstuffed couches and rich sweeping draperies; and the Japanese Parlor with its ornately carved teakwood chair resting upon a dais a gold sold canopy hovering above The Tribune noted that the Japanese Parlor was 'a harlot's dream of what a Japanese palace might look like inside' In the Egyptian Room a full sized effigy of Cleopatra kept a solemn eye on the proceedings The Chinese Room entirely different from the ambiguously named Oriental Room offered packages of tiny firecrackers and a huge brass beaker in which to shoot them where else but at the Everleigh Club could a man indulge his adult and childish impulses?Running the brothel wasn't easy though In addition to bribing the authorities and dealing with the competing madams trying to put them out of business the Everleigh sisters also had to deal with the anti prostitution reformers who flocked to the city Around the time the Everleigh Club was taking off newspapers were starting to feature stories of innocent girls trapped by the white slave trade because obviously it's only sad when it happens to white virgins young girls would be taken to dance halls plied with liuor and then drugged by their escorts They would wake up in a brothel having been raped multiple times and were told that they would have to work there from now on Reformers caught onto these stories and set about destroying the vice district in Chicago and ironically they focused their attentions on the one brothel in the city that had nothing to do with the white slave trade the Everleigh ClubAbbott's book focuses mostly on the reformers and the efforts of the Everleigh sisters to keep their club open along with several other key Levee players and this is to the detriment of the book I wanted to book to be about the Everleigh Club and have the reformers be a subplot but often it's the other way around We get brief little anecdotes about the prostitutes and what went on behind closed doors at the Club like one client who enjoyed tossing gold coins at his favorite girl the deal being that she could keep whatever she caught in her snatch but they're few and far between as we spend too much time with the reformers Also Abbott's glasses are a little bit too rose tinted when she's discussing the issue of prostitution in the early 20th century She treats the stories of drugged girls being violated by professional rapists which has to be one of the Top Five Most Horrifying Job Titles with a little too much unconcern as if we're supposed to believe that those things don't happen nowadays First off old timey rapists are still rapists and stories of kidnapping and sexual slavery aren't improved by the fact that they're sepia toned so I don't view it as a good thing that the New York Times Book Review blurb called this book a lush love letter to the underworld Second while I understand that the purpose of Abbott's book isn't to educate her readers on modern sex trafficking it would have been nice if there was some acknowledgement that the horrifying practices she describes are still going on today and didn't disappear along with the Jazz Age All in a all a fun romp through Chicago's seedy history and a cool glimpse into the underworld and its people It's History Lite but it's well written well researched good unclean fun

doc ☆ Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul ☆ Karen Abbott

Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club the most famous brothel in American history–and the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation Operating in Chicago’s notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century the Club’s proprietors two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh welcomed moguls and actors senators and athletes foreign dignitaries and literary icons into their stately double mansion where thirty stunning Everleigh “butterflies” awaited their arrival Courtesans named Doll Suzy Poon Tang and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a har I want to stress that this is a work of nonfiction; every character I describe lived and breathed if not necessarily thrived on the Levee's mean streets writes author Karen Abbott in her introductionWhat immediately bothered me about the book though was the extent to which Karen Abbott took liberties to 'fictionalize' her non fiction adding window dressing and drapery to an already rich tapestry of research materialTake this section for instance'It's going to be difficult at first I know' Minna continued She walked slowly up and down the line a commander instructing her troops arms folded heels clackingI found this style irritating and distracting It made me doubt Abbott's usage of her sources What were her sources anyway? I would have liked to hear about them and not just stuffed in the back in the bibliography What source material is she relying upon? How credible is it? THAT ASIDE I thought the actual story Abbott had to tell about the history of Chicago's vice district was interesting if a little disjointed There seemed to be so many different angles to the story and the author seemed to dab a little in all of them without going into much depth There was a little about the reform movement a little about the way Big Jim Ike Bloom Hinky Dink Kenna greased the wheels of law enforcement a little about the schemings of Vic Shaw a little about the Everleigh sisters themselves Abbott gave a little of everything but kept me wanting to know about everything too

Karen Abbott ☆ Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul epub

Sin in the Second City Madams Ministers Playboys and the Battle for America's SoulIca’s sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House including the formation of the Federal Bureau of InvestigationWith a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson John Barry John D Rockefeller Jr William Howard Taft “Hinky Dink” Kenna and Al Capone Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott’s colorful nuanced portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters their world famous Club and the perennial clash between our nation’s hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers Sin in the Second City offers a vivid snapshot of America’s journey from Victorian era propriety to twentieth century modernit In “Sin in the Second City” Karen Abbott tells us in her subtitle that the book is ultimately about “the Battle for America's Soul” Pretty heady I suppose that the battle still persists to this day so I shouldn’t have expected a victor in the book itself yet was left feeling unsatisfied at not even having a side to root for Abbott seemingly couldn’t decide if she was writing a slice of life about Chicago’s vice district at the turn of the century a profile of two successful sisters running a posh brothel or a narrative history of the battle between reformers and vice lords Elements of all three different books come to the fore at different times in the relatively scant 300 pages of text with no one tack prevailing I never felt that I had a satisfying level of detail about “the Levee” – the infamous vice district – or a real grasp of the tale of Ada and Minna Everleigh – the sister proprietors of the infamous “Everleigh Club” – OR a clear cut understanding of the major players and seuence of events in the battle between the reform movement and the criminal element Ultimately Abbott gives a muddled portrait of a bunch of people at the turn of the century who while colorful enough aren’t well enough detailed to be compelling or motivated well enough to be understandable dropped into a seuence of events that seems dramatic but is utterly without stakes or importanceThis leads to the primary uestion I had with the book who are we the readers supposed to root for if anyone andor who does Abbott seem to prefer in this mini epic “Battle”? I am also not so simple a reader as to reuire a “good guy” and a “bad guy” in the stories I read but some person or people I could care about on than a cursory level would have been sufficient Seemingly the Everleigh sisters in trying to raise their whorehouse to a higher standard and cater to a exclusive monied clientele are our heroes as it were But we know precious little about them partially because they presumably by necessity obfuscate so much information about their lives and partly because there are so many other outsize characters in the book that Abbott doesn’t have the time to invest them with anything other than the most limited amount of depth The other characters in the Levee are mostly abominable vicious pimps and madams forcing their whores into disgusting and vile acts while meting out healthy portions of abuse and disease Nobody to sympathize with there Abbott then treats the reformers of the time with disdain portraying them as timorous moralizers pedantic grandstanders superficial busybodies I suppose there is something postmodern in the idea that there are no heroes in this story but one still gets the feeling that Abbott sides with the vice district somehow wishing that prostitution segregated from the mainstream of society could entirely be elevated to the “classy” level of the Everleigh Club and allowed to continue on? Certainly the reform minded crusaders – religious and political – are not shown as heroic janitors of a social filth Yet Chicago’s vice district IS clearly a rats’ nest of illness and misery – with the possible exception of the dubious accomplishments of the Everleigh Club in partially raising the brothel to a not totally disgusting and horrendous levelIn this book it would seem a shame that the Everleigh Club was shuttered by an apprehensive and capricious mayor It may be that it is meant to be a shame simply because of the changing of the times – the passing of an epoch But I had a hard time working up a great deal of emotional nostalgia for the closing of Chicago’s fanciest whorehouse out of a pack of awful whorehouses Is this the sort of changing of the times that we should lament? The end of the good times? We aren’t even to the Roaring ‘20s yet Were these times really so good in the first place?? Abbott is at pains to downplay much of the basis for the moral fervor over “white slavery” She seems largely to dismiss the idea advocated by the reformers that credulous women from out of town were lured off train platforms into houses of ill repute by moustache twirling villains Instead she indicates that many of these women chose “the life” for themselves I both have a hard time believing this and have a hard time accepting it as a mitigating factor in the brutal turn of the century sex industry Is it proto feminism? A woman’s right to do with her body as she pleases? Based on some of the nasty anecdotes in the book one would imagine it was anything but Is she really advocating for women to be allowed to be publicly whipped in SM style displays for male titillation? Such were some of the entertainments at the less classy brothels Does anyone really think women were willingly and rationally choosing this for themselves? Yet Abbott’s authorial loyalties do seem to lie with her unruly anti heroic whores and madams Obviously I just don’t get itThe book was interesting enough as a sketch of a wonderfully alien time and place all taking place here in the city where I live and the streets where I walk But beyond the curiosity factor I did not find much of any substance – certainly nothing that would indicate this book was about the battle for America’s very soul I would have appreciated Abbott tipping her hand why aside from the vaguest modern day resonances of religious people legislating morality were the reformers so lame in her eyes? Conversely Abbott would have been well served to detach herself and give us sympathetic characters on both sides of the battle a compassionate reformer with the best interests of women and society at heart clashing with a big hearted madam just trying to make a living to show the democratic conundrum between freedom and immorality But the battle is inconsistently pitched from an authorial perspective and ultimately relegates the book into muddled if interesting purposelessness