A Bordello Like No Other

A century ago, on the south side of Chicago, there was a bordello like none the country had ever seen. It was called the Everleigh Club, and it was more grand, more gilded, and more palatial than many a palace.

Inside, the rich and powerful and well-placed men of Chicago society consorted with beauties paid a jaw-dropping wage for the time.

Outside, angry preachers and political progressives railed against “white slavery” and moral turpitude. In that clash played out a great chapter in America’s unfinished debate over vice and virtue.

This hour On Point: sex and the city of Chicago, a century ago.


Karen Abbott, author of the new book, “Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul.”

Linda Gordon, Professor of History, New York University. She is author of “The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America.”

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