Not 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 America's sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House.
With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, 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 20th-century modernity.
©2007 Karen Abbott; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"An entertaining, well-researched slice of Windy City history." (Publishers Weekly)
Ms. Abbott's history of this little niche in Chicago's history and an important step in the take over of the politics by the religious right makes this book interesting beyond just the salacious subject matter. She handles the story with the class and wit that would make the Everyleigh sisters proud.
The other delight of this book is it's narrator Joyce Bean. I'll simply say: I want her to narrate everything I listen to!
I really don't quite know how this author could have made this topic boring, but she did. It was so choppy, jumping from one story to another without any sense of continuity. It was like reading someones notes for a thesis that were dropped, got mixed up and weren't put in order. I am a diehard audible fan, and will listen to books I that I would never finish in hard copy, but I couldn't even be bothered with finishing this book. After 7 hours my ears were bleeding, I could take no more. And to top it off there were several lousy edits of repeated dialog that were not cut out of the narration. Don't bother with this "sin" of a book.
Many of the other reviewers were very harsh. I agree that this felt very unfocused. I understood that the story was told of the sisters chronologically, but I really though that there could have been a stronger theme presented. Perhaps, some artistic license as to describing the characters. Some of the ancillary characters were described in far too great of detail making things very confusing.
I mean come on! When you have to have a LIST OF CHARACTERS at the beginning just to keep track of everyone, that should be the first clue that something isn't done well.
Excellent perspective on Chicago in this era...not just the brothel but in general Chicago at this time
Gary S. Arkell
I enjoyed this book at lot. I almost wish I could go to Chicago and see the area portrayed in this story. It is a shame all of the buildings were torn down. This book mentions many famous people in history and tells an interesting chapter of Chicago's history.
This was a well written- full of information book. The narration was well done- there was a glitch a couple of times a sentence or two would repeat, interesting and great pace.
I never knew of the Everleigh Sisters and found their lives and the times they were in fascinating!
The history and the story- well told almost like a novel but with plenty of history!
Well paced, great cadance.
Only part that was discordent to me was the great-niece who mailed to Wallace about how Minna lied- prove it- there should have been some follow up with family members.
Nope- Highly recommend this book!
This book started out to be interesting but as it wore on, it just got tedious. The author follows up so you know what happened to everybody & the fact that it is history & not fiction kept me listening. It was like the author was told the book needed more length, and she padded the story. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have used a credit. The narrator has a rather abrasive voice that I got tired listening to. She does continually call the ladies who are the center of the story "harlots" so much that it made me laugh. The facts are told without being vulgar (I didn't think so anyway) but I was surprised the story wasn't a little more lively. I liked the movie "Cheyenne Social Club"-this book is nothing like that.
I didn't find the story all that interesting. I didn't stay with the story until to very end. Had to give up on it and move onto another book.
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