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If you liked Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys and the Battle for America’s Soul by Karen Abbott

The Everleigh Club, operated in Chicago’s Levee district at the turn of the last century and the most famous brothel in American history, was the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation.

In their establishment, sisters Minna and Ada welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons into their stately double mansion in an attempt to elevate the industry. Rival madams hatched various 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 spread tales of “white slavery.” The furor shaped America’s sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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