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Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Membership, essentially the most well-known brothel in American historical past–and the catalyst for a tradition conflict that rocked the nation. Working in Chicago’s infamous Levee district on the daybreak of the final century, the Membership’s proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, overseas dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion, the place thirty beautiful Everleigh “butterflies” awaited their arrival. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Prime devoured uncooked meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot’s earnings and stored a “whipper” on employees to mete out self-discipline, the Everleighs made positive their women dined on gourmand meals, had been examined by an sincere doctor, and even tutored within the literature of Balzac. Not everybody appreciated the sisters’ makes an attempt to raise the trade. Rival Levee madams hatched quite a few schemes to smash the Everleighs, together with an try to border them for the demise of division retailer inheritor Marshall Discipline, Jr. However the sisters’ most daunting foes had been the Progressive Period reformers, who despatched your entire nation right into a frenzy with lurid tales of “white slavery”——the allegedly rampant observe of kidnapping younger women and forcing them into brothels. This furor formed America’ s sexual tradition and had repercussions all the best way to the White Home, together with the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With a solid of characters that features Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, “Hinky Dink” Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin within the Second Metropolis is Karen Abbott’s colourful, nuanced portrait of the long-lasting Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Membership, and the perennial conflict between our nation’s hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic final stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, Sin within the Second Metropolis affords a vivid snapshot of America’s journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.

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