In Sin in the Second City, Karen Abbott tells the story of the Everleigh Club, Chicago's famous brothel. Run by the Everleigh sisters, who claimed an aristocratic pedigree, the club was opulent, the working girls were called Butterflies, and the girls were pampered and well paid.
The club's success during its 11-year run attracted European royalty, athletes, celebrities, and politicians. It also attracted the attention of reformers, prosecutors, and the fledgling FBI.
Local politicians debated shutting it down and regulating brothel's the one area of the city. In the end, the mayor ordered its closing. Abbott pairs the story with a larger look at attitudes toward sex, religion and 'fallen women.
”There also is plenty of graft, hypocrisy, exploited women and double-talking politicians. Change the hemlines, add 100 years, and the book could be filed under current affairs."